Peace Corps Volunteer leaving after two years of living among indigenous people says…
“CHILDREN REALLY ARE DYING FOR LACK OF SAFE DRINKING WATER.”
Michelle Aguilar (below ) departing Peace Corps Volunteer
“I’VE BEEN TO TOO MANY INFANT FUNERALS”
Below– A RACE AGAINST TIME
We rush a mother and her critically sick infant to the nearest hospital in our boat. 80% of all child sicknesses are due to bad water.
Infants are always the most vulnerable. Life for indigenous infants, especially, is often very short.
A worried mother’s concern needs no translation. Mothers everywhere understand.
(Below) Washed with polluted water, a baby’s mosquito bites quickly become infected. Polluted water kills. Indigenous infants are often the victims.
Health — and survival for those most vulnerable — depends on having clean, safe water.
SEE WHAT ONE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL DID TO SAVE LIVES
Maribel Dominguez, principal of the school at Cauchero, met us on arrival with two bowls. “Give me your bottle of water,” she asked, and poured the clean water into one bowl. She then showed us the bowl of water from her school. “I got this five minutes ago,” she said.
“Look at the difference.This is why half my students are always absent from sickness. Chronic diarrhea and stomach disorders keep our kids from getting an education.”
(Above) Contaminated water contrasts with the bottled water we brought along
That’s why we had come all the way to Cauchero. Our OSDW team quickly went to work.
“How often does it rain?” we asked “Every two or three days” she said.
Within 3 hours Maribel had a new 600-gallon rain catchment system.
Ken Eide of OSDW led the ground team. The volunteers who donated the tank climbed up on the roof to do their part.
At the end of the day, a smiling principal and happy joy among her students – and the volunteers who donated the tank.
Maribel’s water tank holds 600 gallons of safe, disease-free water. It refills in 4-5 hours in a tropical downpour. It’s simple and easy to maintain, with only one moving part — the faucet. It’ll provide safe, disease-free water for years to come. It cost only $975. it was installed by the volunteers who donated it.
Sept. 13 --- two 600-gallon rain catchment tanks were installed today at the indigenous school atRio Oeste Arriba ( Upper West River) . The students had to carry buckets of water from a stream a mile away. People and animals upstream polluted the water. Absentee rates from sickness among the 250 students were 50% of the student body, due to bad water. Mostly diarrhea and fever. Heavy rainfall in this mountainous area will keep the tanks full.
Sept. 15...a four-tank MEGA SYSTEM was installed at the 450-student indigenous school at La Gloria, Bocas del Toro Province of Panama. When school is not in session a thousand villagers living nearby will have access to safe, disease-free water. The large rain catchment area will refill the tanks in 4-5 hours of a typical rainfall, assuring aconstant supply of safe water from the four tanks.
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