The EWB-SCFL chapter is pleased to be able to close its program of work with the community of Ocho de Octubre (a.k.a. Segovia), Honduras. After several years of partnership with the community, culminating with the construction of a water distribution system, it has become apparent that the community’s active partnership with the neighboring municipality of La Esparanza is yielding rapid improvement of the community’s infrastructure and will more effectively address the community’s future needs than can EWB-SCFL.
Having designed, constructed, and conducted a one year follow up trip to assess the operation of the well, water tower, water distribution system, and pila projects, our chapter’s focus has been for most of the last two years on what other needs in the community could be addressed. The most pressing need is sanitation, followed by the need for electricity, garbage disposal, and possibly drainage improvements. The selection of sustainable technologies to address any of these needs, sanitation in particular, quickly proved problematic as it became increasingly clear that the community’s residents were simply too cosmopolitan to accept the relatively crude sanitation technologies within the reach of an EWB project. Combined with the ongoing destabilization of the political situation in Honduras (punctuated by the full withdrawal from the country by the U.S. Peace Corps, without whose assistance we could not have accomplished the projects to date), the loss of an active role from our in country NGO, the lack of a direct contact in the community to communicate with, and the realization that the community’s partnership with the neighboring municipality is yielding rapid results to address their needs, these factors have made it clear that the appropriate action for the EWB-SCFL chapter is to close our program in Ocho de Octubre and apply all of the lessons learned and remaining funds to our other program in Corail Lamothe, Haiti.
We would like to thank all of you that have contributed to our efforts, and the community of Ocho de Octbubre extends its gratitude for the life altering improvement that their water system has brought. We hope that as you look towards targeting your future giving that you will consider once again partnering with EWB-SCFL.
Andrew D Eiland, Jr
President - Engineers Without Borders, South Central Florida Professionals chapter