El Chagüite, Nicaragua
Project Type: Water Distribution System
Project Adoption Date: June 2013
Project Phase: Pre-Assessment: Data Collection
Directly Affects: 330
Indirectly Affects: 1500
Update: The International Project Team is implementing a hydro-geological study with Luis Murillo. Results are pending as of September 2018.
The first goal of both the EWB Cal Poly Pomona chapter and the community of Chaguite, Nicaragua is to create a more secure and sustainable means for accessing water. EWB-CPP is currently in an Assessment stage as confirmation for the chapter's initial project. Multiple propositions have been considered, such as a water distribution system and new cistern installations. Thus far, EWB has plans to implement a rain catchment system for the roofs of the houses within the community of Chaguite.
The overall goal of EWB-CPP is to improve the quality of life for the people of Chaguite by supplying them with the means to sustainably meet their prominent needs.
Recent efforts to address water access began in the summer of 2012—the University of Central America received a grant to provide 30 household cisterns to improve the quantity of water access in Chaguite. Unfortunately, these cisterns were distributed with minimal community feedback and certain houses were excluded from the process. Many cisterns are now in poor condition and are unable to store clean water.
Chaguite is located within in Cuje, Nicaragua. It is one of eight subcommunities in the larger district of Cuje, located 45 minutes from the municipal center of Totogalpa and roughly four hours from the capital, Managua. Chaguite is comprised of 47 households with families in each household containing 3-7 members. Engineers Without Borders has come into contact with Zander Pellegrino, a non-government official in the community who is also a part of Medical Aid Nicaragua: Outreach Scholarship (MANOS), a student-run organization at the College of William and Mary that operates under the guidance of Dr. David Aday, Professor of Sociology and Community Studies and Co-Director of the Public Health Department. Zander and the MANOS team, will assist EWB in becoming familiar with the community, and by providing transportation and an understanding of the communities government structure.
Engineers Without Borders has settled a community commitment and program that will list the responsibilities of the community representatives and members. The community is also willing to provide construction material from local hardware stores and unskilled labor when necessary. The Chaguite community along with its residents and local organizations have identified an extensive water development project as the first step to improve access to clean water.
EWB-CPP successfully executed its first trip to the community in December 2013. A team of individuals met with the people of Chaguite in order to gain a better understanding of their needs and assessed the site for project feasibility. They analyzed the current status of the existing cisterns, tested the area’s water quality, and facilitated health assessment surveys, which helped to evaluate the system’s ability to reduce both water-borne illness and financial strain.
The second trip was carried out in late March of 2014. After evaluating the condition of the community during the prior trip, it was decided that creating a topographic map - a map delineating the elevations throughout a plot of land - would help establish a project most fitting to the terrain of the area, as well as provide the people with a resource they have never previously had access to. Therefore, the second excursion was dedicated to obtain data relating to the location of landmarks throughout the community and various elevations. In addition to data collection, new and valuable mentors were obtained. The Spring ‘14 team became acquainted with Dr. Martha Orzco of Universidad Nicaragua Agria, who has worked within Chaguite in the past and is well associated with the dynamic of the community. This will aid us in better connecting with the people. Through EWB-USA, we were also able to meet with Sandy Williamson, who is now acting as a technical advisor and project mentor. Sandy met with the Spring travel team and assisted the team in surveying the land. We will continually keep in contact with him as the topographic map goes underway.
PROJECT LEADS 2018-2019
Brayan Velazquez (Vice President of Projects)
Na Nguyen (Vice President of Projects)
Stephanie Ling (International Project Lead)
Anali Sanchez (International Project Lead)
Elbra Ebrahimi (16-17 International Project Lead)
Amelia Loya (16-17 International Project Lead)
Patrick Fraire (15-16 International Project Lead)
Rya Castillo (15-16 International Project Lead)
Christopher Coon (14-15 International Project Lead)
Danny Vega (14-15 International Project Treasurer)
David Tiscareno (12-14 International Project Lead)
Matthew Sapp (13-14 International Project Assistant)
Kenneth Lamb, Ph.D., PE