Drinking water for all in Colombia
Municipality of Quibdó, capital of the Chocó Department.
Direct à 1,370 inhabitants (650 girls and boys, 20 teachers and 700 members of the community living in the school's surrounding neighbourhoods). Indirect à7,000 inhabitants (of Quibdó's VI Commune (district), the site of the Barefoot School and Community Centre).
January to May 2014
Between 1999 and 2005, more than 60,000 people were the victims of forced displacement due to the violence in Colombia, in the country's Chocó Department. Of them, around half found their way to its capital Quibdó, building shantytowns in the areas surrounding it. These border the River Atrato basin, which occupies 60% of the Department's territory. This and other neighbouring river basins are the dumping grounds for the refuse and waste disposed of by these communities every day. To make matters worse, the area has no proper water or sewage infrastructure, meaning residents have to use rainwater for their daily needs, which is stored in tanks and other containers and is completely untreated before use.
a) Repair and improvement of water collection, storage and distribution facilities at the Pies Descalzos Foundation School in Quibdó.
b) The building of water distribution stations with filters guaranteeing access to drinking water in areas such as the school's kitchen, washbasins and bathrooms.
c) Development of a training programme for the education community on the use and handling of water.
The Pies Descalzos School and Community Centre, in Quibdó's VI Commune, is attended by 650 children from the surrounding community and also benefits young people and adults from local neighbourhoods, who participate in school, sporting, recreational and community activities organised by the Barefoot Foundation. Carrying out these activities means that a great deal of water is used by all those going to the school: with this project, we seek to make a contribution by improving its access and the drinking quality. Currently, the school has tanks (elevated, ground-level and underground) that collect rainwater, which is then distributed to the school's kitchen and bathrooms and to some external points. Given that rainwater is used, it needs action to help improve its quality so that it is suitable for preparing food and for direct consumption. This project is also designed to contribute to the education of students, teachers and parents on the use and handling of water, to raise awareness of the importance of this issue amongst members of the community and ensure that these actions are sustainable over time.
The project will be carried out in Quibdó, the capital of the Chocó Department. This is an area in the northwest of Colombia, next to the Pacific Ocean. The Department is crossed by three river basins: those of the Rivers Atrato, Baudó and San Juan. It is located within an Intertropical Convergence Zone: in other words, where the trade winds of both hemispheres converge. This makes it one of the world's rainiest areas, with a hot, humid climate that also contributes to the presence of great biodiversity.
Between 1996 and 2004, El Chocó was home to 89% of the country's displaced population, placing it at the epicentre of this terrible phenomenon.
The majority of this community is made up of displaced families facing serious difficulties as a result of poverty, unemployment, an absence of public services and a lack of access to drinking water.
What are we going to do?
1. Repair and improve the water collection, storage and distribution facilities at the Barefoot Foundation School and Community Centre in Quibdó.
2. Building water distribution stations with filters guaranteeing access to drinking water in areas such as the school's kitchen, washbasins and bathrooms.
3. Develop a training programme for the education community on the use and handling of water.