We are currently planning for our initial assessment trip this November to our new partner community, Batey Cuchilla (in the Dominican Republic). The community’s infrastructure is facing many problems that we intend to address over the next five or more years.
Currently, irrigation water is mixing with the municipal water supply due to broken pipes and poor infrastructure, contaminating the water that the community drinks. The breaks in the system also reduce water pressure not only near the main tank, but throughout the community, which has caused the school and other buildings to not have access to water for at least two years. The lid to the communal tank is rusting, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes in the water supply. This is particularly concerning due to recent outbreaks of mosquito-carrying diseases such as Zika and Malaria.
During our assessment trip we plan to develop an understanding of the community’s current infrastructure, its limitations, and the problems hindering it. We plan to develop a relationship with the community and layout the formal groundwork for a partnership. Our team intends to interview the community members to get a better understanding of what their needs are and how they plan to work with us to obtain those needs. We plan to source materials, equipment, and skilled labor in country. Once we assess the project we will be able to work with them to design possible solutions, narrow down the one that will be the most sustainable and effective, and construct it alongside the community members.
Our partnership will not end there. We intend to help them maintain the infrastructure; our chapter may help with additional needs such as a sanitary system in the future.