The Grupo Puntacana Foundation, along with its project partners in the Fuentes de Vida coalition, received a third party's final report to identify potential challenges as well as positive opportunities for the construction of the potable water system and continued management of the waste water treatment system that is already in operation. Based off of the results of this report, the FDV Coalition decided to hire Agroforsa, SRL, a specialized organization dedicated to imparting the necessary training and capacity building with the community leaders and residents so that they can effectively manage, maintain and reinforce the potable and waste water treatment systems.
Agroforsa, SRL, is a consulting firm that helps people and institutions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to sustainably manage their country's watersheds and other natural resources to enhance well-being and economic development. Agroforsa brings relevant expertise and experience in citizen participation, water resources management, watershed management, small-scale agro-enterprise initiatives, among other related disciplines.
Previously, Agroforsa implemented a Community Social Action Plan (Plan de Gestion Social Comunitario, PGSC) for the San Juan Province in the Dominican Republic (in partnership with MUDE & Alianza ONG), for the Dominican Government’s Department of Water & Sewers ("INAPA" - Instituto de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado). The Plan included a baseline study of the communities in the San Juan area; the formation of local water comities ("ASOCAR" - Asociación Comunitarios de Aqueductos Rurales, in Spanish); establishing the payment, collection and management of regular fees so their systems may become self-sustaining; training in health and sanitation practices; mitigating risks management; maintenance and operation in the community and ASOCAR level; and gender issues in community water systems. Agroforsa also strengthened 15 community's organizational structures that are dependent on INAPA’S water supply. Where sewer systems were constructed in three urban areas, Agroforsa also gave community workshops on proper care and use of their sewer systems.
In the Fuentes de Vida project, Agroforsa will form a local legally established water comity (ASOCAR) in Domingo Maiz so that members can administer their own water and sewer systems by paying tariffs, understanding the importance of water management, and maintaining the water and sewer system using the collected funds. The FDV Coaltion expects to see substantial improvements in the administration of the sewer system and to have a fully operating water comity before begginig construction of the potable water system in Domingo Maiz. FDV hopes to see behavior changes in the proper use of water, cleanliness, and hygiene. By legalizing the water comity FDV hopes to empower the community to solve their own water and sanitation issues which will hopefully transcend into proper solid waste management practices in the future.
Thus far, Agroforsa's initial efforts have shown promising results. The President of the Domingo Maiz Neighborhood Association (“Junta de Vecinos”) was in attendance and helped facilitate key transitions of leadership/authorities to the ASOCAR. Most importantly, new leaders are emerging within the community and asserting themselves in the stewardship of the community's sanitation systems. Although its a new concept for the community of Domingo Maiz, the community members seem to be effectively adopting the protocols and procedures of the ASOCAR.
On behalf of the Fuentes de Vida Coalition we would like to sincerely thank all of you who have donated to the project to date. Moving forward we hope we can count on your continued support for this pioneering project and hope you share this Global Giving Page with anyone you think may be interested in learning about this project.