After an initial needs-assessment in a community with over 8,000 residents, the data showed that there was a correlation between respiratory issues and the residents that lived in close proximity to the water canals. Upon further investigation the sewer canals were ridden with black water, making it a breeding ground for mosquito-borne illness. Over the long-term, this can cause respiratory illnesses. After presenting the findings to the Neighborhood Association, they requested a water canal project.
With the help of Peace Corps Dominican Republic and Friends of the Dominican Republic, the community and co-founder, Scott Coppa, received funding and repaired/constructed 150 meters of canal ways, exceeding the original target by 80 meters. Additionally, the community contributed 38% of the overall projects’ costs in the form of labor, food, and information sessions on how to properly maintain the canals and on the other ongoing sanitation problems in the community.
Note: Scott Coppa, a Peace Corps Volunteer completed phase 1 of this project and the project was funded via small grants application (Friends of the Dominican Republic.)
The City Hall took note of the amazing work within the community and recently decided to work with the community and Puente in order to complete another 50+ meters of wastewater pathways. Together, we completed the project in just two days.
The community is currently looking for outside organizations to come help complete the remaining 50+ meters of canal-ways. Additionally, the community is implementing an environmental education program (Brigada Verde) with youth and community leaders. To date, over 200 residents have received training on proper sanitation and waste-management.