Joint Effort Brings Clean Water to the Dominican Republic
Organizations join to install 400 HydrAid filters in nine rural Dominican communities
“When it rains it pours,” said Guillermo Guzman, founder and CEO of Wishing Well International Foundation (WWIF). A day after his return from the Water Quality Assn.'s (WQA) annual convention on April 5, 2013, Guzman received a call from Jim Bodenner, executive director of the Safe Water Team (SWT), inviting the foundation to participate in a three-way challenge to benefit the Dominican Republic.
Earlier in the month, WWIF reported a three-way challenge between WWIF, SWT and Safe Water Ghana that would allow for the implementation of 500 filters in Ghana. The Dominican Republic project will be executed and implemented by Project Las Americas (PLA), a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with projects primarily in the Dominican Republic, and the Peace Corps, which has worked with PLA since 2003, funding biosand filters and constructing rural water supplies in the area.
A nonprofit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to developing areas, the 2013 PLA, Peace Corps, Safe Water Team and WWIF Hydraid project entails community facilitator training, community education and the installation of 400 HydrAid filters in nine rural Dominican communities. Direct beneficiaries will be close to 2,500 people through a highly sustainable implementation model that was developed by PLA. This model was recently utilized in a Rotary/USAID grant over the past two years, in which 11,250 HydrAid filters were implemented with 96% compliance and 98% functionality rates demonstrated after 18 months of use.
PLA and WWIF are in conversations to expand their involvement for the funding of an additional 150 filters in the Batey San Jose Ulloa near La Romana. This could impact an additional 900 people. Everyone in the Batey will have clean, safe drinking water with the delivery of the additional filters. “We are very pleased we are able to execute projects in partnership with other organizations. It allows us to do more, using less money and in a short period of time. We look forward to expanding our activities through more partnerships. It is a good model and it will allow us to gain momentum in places that would otherwise be difficult to impact by ourselves,” Guzman said. “It is our partnership with the Safe Water Team that is helping bring these opportunities our way, and we are grateful for that."