The El Rosalito, Ocoa Water Project
Water is there whenever we want it. Turn a tap and clean, plentiful water pours out.
But what if it didn’t?
What if access to water required you to walk at least 4 hours each day?
What if your children couldn’t go to school because they too had to walk for water?
What if every time you drank that water, you were gambling with your health?
How would your life be different?
In the Dominican Republic, in the Province of Ocoa, high in the rural central mountains far from the luxurious tourist areas, sits the village of El Rosalito. Along with 10 neighbouring villages, it’s home to 500 people and the mountain-top views are breathtaking. But the beauty of this place is in direct and troubling contrast with devastating poverty. Most residents live in shacks and lean-to’s. Families have been there for generations on land deeded to them by the government. The men farm small plots of land (on steep and dangerous mountain slopes) to sustain their families, but each day, the women and children leave home for a 4 hour water pilgrimage with buckets, cans and old gasoline containers. Some have donkeys to share the burden, others do not. It’s an unending ritual that is preventing the residents from rising above their impoverished existence.
Access to water would change everything!
With a reservoir and piping systems, they would have untainted, clean water to drink right in their homes! They could irrigate their land and begin growing larger crops to sell. With money earned, they could build a small clinic and illness and disease would decline - the children could prosper! Rather than having to collect water every day, they could spend their time learning in the villages' only block building, a one room schoolhouse built by the government years ago (during an election year). Several years ago, the government also drew up plans to build a water system but abandoned the project as too costly for the few votes they would earn from these communities.
Water is life!
2 hours away, atop another mountain in the Province of Ocoa, sits the village of Los Martinez. 20 years ago, residents were suffering similarly to those currently in El Rosalito. But donors built a water diversion project and that changed everything! Now, residents have a paved road, a clinic, lush fields, greenhouses and even a sustainable fish farm. Young people have gone to university and returned to share their knowledge. All because of access to water.
It's up to us!
For villages like El Rosalito, there’s nobody else to help - it’s up to us! This campaign is not about giving, it’s about enabling; enabling worthy people to build a life of abundance by giving them a hand-up, not a hand-out. For approximately $360 CDN per resident of these communities, we can make the difference between basic survival and generational prosperity.
The total cost of the El Rosalito, Ocoa Water Project will be $310,000.00 CDN.
How it Works: Residents Do ALL of the Physical Labour
Engineers from the Dominican Republic non-profit development and housing agency, ADESJO based in nearby San Jose de Ocoa, are using the government designed plan to build a reservoir, cistern, pump and piping system to deliver water directly to the residents of El Rosalito and the neighboring villages.
The villagers themselves will do all of the non-skilled labor, digging kilometers of trenches and installing pipes and cisterns. They will dig 5.5 kms of trench by hand! To date, their 11 months of digging has already finished 2.5 kms.
There is more work to be done and more money is needed to buy steel pipes that will bring water from the water source on another mountain peak to a planned reservoir site in El Rosalito.
Once dug, the reservoir will be 6 meters long x 4 meters wide x 4 meters high; with a capacity of 26,000 gallons.
future reservoir site
small agricultural field on mountain side.
village women on water walk