Written by BBRC Rotarian Ann Norman about 3 separate recent service projects in Colombia
ALTO DEL AGUILA – Water Project
High in the Andes above Bogota, Colombia, the community of Alto del Aguila struggles with intestinal disorders and death due to the poor quality of water from the river that feeds their community.
BBRC Water Project in 2013 consisted of building a water treatment plant for a village of 500 people. That project successfully brought potable water to a grateful community. Partnering with the local community and with Rotary Clubs from Bogota, we were able to build this water treatment plant on the hill above the community and the gravity feed system delivers the water to each household.
.Providing Water and Sanitation is a major focus of Rotary throughout the World
Don Ezequiel guides Ann and Martin up to inspect the water treatment plant as the sun is setting. Days are 12 hours long year round since the community is right near the equator
AGUASANT - Potable Water Project
It Takes a Village…
We create sustainable models that can be replicated in other poor communities in Colombia where it is critical to improve access to potable water.
Here BBRC has developed strategic partnerships with several Rotary Clubs of Bogota, Colombia to plan the next water project to be located in the poor community of Aguasanta
The local Bogota Rotary Clubs work closely with the community to plan, carryout and monitor the success of the projects.
To plan this project, we work closely with the Mayor, the Water Commissioner and Rotary Clubs to determine
- how much water is available for their use
- how the water can be brought to the water treatment plant
- how to build a water treatment plant to produce potable water,
- how much is used by each household
- how much the community can pay for to keep the system sustainable.
The community members invest in the water pipes and water meters as a show of their contribution to the project. The water meters allow community leaders to gauge the success of the project for many years to come and share the costs with the community members who use the water.
ROTARY CLUB BOGOTÁ SANTA BÁRBARA
Clothing Collection Bins
Unlike our State which has many avenues to reuse and recycle clothing and household items, Colombia did not have a good system for collection and redistribution of used clothing.
Along came the Rotary Club Bogota Santa Barbara which had a great idea to put clothing collection bins in Malls in Bogota.
Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club has partnered with them to pay for the Collection bins in 8 Malls. Esteban Numa Liavano, president of the Rotary Club Bogota Santa Barbara, championed this Project which benefits the community but also revitalized his club. This program has been wildly successful.
Our Rotary Clubs partner with a trucking company to deliver the donations to the Minuto de Dios.
We partner with Minuto de Dios, a Catholic Parish in Bogota which has a big warehouse dedicated to this project.
They donate unusable items to recycling.
For usable items, they sort, wash, dry, iron and repair the clothing before distributing the clothing to
- Support communities during disasters,
- Support poor communities who do not have money for clothing
- Sell to poor members of the Bogota community
All in all a very meaningful and worthwhile trip to Colombia with Ann and Martin from the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club!