Posted by: meaghaninwaslala | March 28, 2010

The Selection Process for WfW Funded Communities

When a community submits a letter of interest for a potential water system, we setup an initial meeting and conduct a preliminary study to get information on the community including the population and how many people will benefit from the project.  When we have our first meeting at a new community, we usually experience some conflict about religion and politics. Virginia and I must explain that Water for Waslala and the Ministry work with all religions and political parties, no matter the affiliation.  We believe strongly in the human dignity of having clean water and that we want the most people to benefit from the water systems and to see everyone working together.  Our goal is to get the members of the community to understand our mission and help us move forward.

Once we have our first community meeting, the next step in the selection process is to work with the Villanova engineering students to evaluate the water source.  This year we received 13 letters of interest and the students will visit six of those communities for evaluation.  We selected those communities based on their population, their level of organization and if they are able to maintain a community fund for the maintenance of the water system into the future.

Earlier this month, the Villanova students came to Waslala to assess the water source flow rate in these communities. While they were here, they sketched maps of the communities and proposed systems and determined the viability of the source as well as the organization level of the community. The Villanova student’s efforts are very important to our selection process. Their evaluation and recommendations are what helps us make the final decision on what communities will receive funding and a water system in the upcoming year.

Also earlier this month, Virginia and I traveled to Caño Zapote, one of the communities interested in receiving funding for a water project for this year. We held a meeting to inform the community further about the project, the purpose of the community fund, and to discuss issues within the community.  Approximately 40 members of the community attended. Stay tuned for updates on Caño Zapote and the future of this water system and others.

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