Upon completion of the chapter’s premier project in May, the EWB-High Plains Professional Chapter has been reviewing potential projects for future work and increasing communication and collaboration with other EWB chapters.
The most important commitment for the chapter involves maintaining a presence in the village of Otates, Mexico following the clean-water project. The next project the chapter is scoping is the replacement of the village playground. Currently the playground consists of a rusted slide, a see-saw with no seats and the frame of a swing-set, but no swings.
“The playground is a death trap,” said Jeff Viano, former communications coordinator for the chapter. Viano visited Otates to photograph the clean-water project completion in May and took numerous photos of the playground. “It’s nothing but jagged, rusted metal and is just really dangerous for kids to be playing on.”
Several assessment trips to Otates are scheduled to not only evaluate the playground, but monitor the clean-water project, and determine possible opportunities to help some of the neighboring towns near Otates.
In addition to the continued efforts in and around Otates, the High Plains Professional Chapter is working to expand their reach and collaborate with at least two EWB student chapters this year. The chapter has most recently reached out to the University of Maryland student chapter to communicate an interest in providing support for their upcoming projects.
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After several challenging months of getting permits and other issues, we have completed implementation of the water system for the kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and health clinic in the town of Otates. We will continue to monitor water filtration. There was a large celebration complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the residents of Otates were very excited about having access to fresh water at their children's schools and the town's health clinic.
Thanks to all of our donors who contributed to this project and made access to fresh water possible for the people of Otates. We could not have done any of this without you!
After a few challenges with permitting and well location, we are beginning implementation of the water system for the town! The project is now planning to make use of an existing well in the town plaza, instead of drilling the originally planned well across the highway from the town.
Site-preparation work is underway, a concrete base slab that will support four large plastic tanks capable of storing 10,000 liters of water has been installed, and well-water samples are being analyzed to ensure the water meets standards set by governing authorities in Mexico.
Initial water tests indicate that the water produced by the well is of acceptable quality and will be treatable. Pending the final test results, the new well location means a savings in the pump and piping, which can be put into future projects.
We could not have done it without our donors - a big thank you to all of you!
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