CURINGUE, ECUADOR: WATER SUPPLY
STATUS: Implementation Phase
The community of Curingue settled in their current location roughly 150 years ago. It now has 210 inhabitants ranging in age from infant to 70 years old. Most residents are subsistence farmers, and some men do construction work in nearby towns when work is available. A typical household of five must live on less than $350/month, including a $50 stipend from the Ecuadorean government.
The people of Curingue do not have reliable access to clean water, which means that women and children must make a grueling, hours-long trek to the nearest water source on a daily basis to collect the small amount of water they are capable of carrying back to the home for cooking. The water source is a spring located about 250 meters below the community. The water is contained in a cistern that does not adequately protect the source, and contamination is a major concern.
The statement below, which defines the most pressing needs of the Curingue community, was written by the Curingue Water Committee, which a leadership team to which members of the community are elected.
“Despite the fact that we would like better living and educational conditions, we do not even have the resources to satisfy our basic needs. The development program that we propose includes various projects like potable water in every home, latrines, better access to health care, and improved farm and livestock production. This program is necessary because without water there is not good health or hygiene, but rather sickness and death. The first project we have to develop is a potable water system for our people. We also need water to irrigate our crops and raise our livestock.”
The first project that will be implemented as a part of the program in Curingue is a potable water supply system. The overall design of the system will consist of the following:
Two French drain intakes that will collect water from two natural springs initially identified by the community as potential sources for the system
Two pump stations using the same submersible pump to convey water from the source to the community
One central storage tank that will be constructed at an elevation above the community
A finished water line that will transport water from the intake to the primary pump house, from the primary pump house to the intermediate pump house, and from the intermediate pump house to the storage tank
A gravity-fed distribution system that will consist of piping from the storage tank to each home in the community, pressure relief valves where needed, tap stands at each home/building, and meters to record water usage at each home/building
As EWB-PPC finishes a water supply project in Tingo Pucará, Ecuador, we learn about a potential opportunity to work on a similar project in a nearby community, Curingue.
The proposed program for Curingue, which includes projects related to water supply and sanitation, is formally approved by EWB-USA.
A team from EWB-PPC travels on the first Assessment Trip to Curingue. Tasks accomplished on this trip include topographical surveying, water quality testing, and a baseline public health assessment.
The second Assessment Trip is completed, where the team conducted additional surveying, finalized the pipeline route, and met with potential equipment vendors.
The design of Phase 1 of the water supply project, which includes the intakes, pump houses, storage tank, and finished water line, is formally approved for construction by EWB-USA.
Construction on Phase 1 of the water supply project begins as a team from EWB-PPC travels on the first Implementation Trip.
Construction of both pump stations and a topographical survey of the distribution system are completed on the second Implementation Trip.
Construction of the central storage tank is completed on the third Implementation Trip.
On the fourth Implementation trip, the pipeline trench is completed, inside of which is placed the stainless steel pipe, and the control wire running from the central tank to each of the pump stations.
Installation of both pumps is completed and initial system tests are successful. Water is being delivered to the intermediate pump station.