Wirkini Water Reservoir is Now Complete

Wirkini Water Reservoir is Now Complete

Mano a Mano’s Wirkini water reservoir project is now complete! This project was extremely difficult, and we had to overcome many challenges and issues, but we are very pleased that the people of Wirkini will have more water then they have ever seen before. The project will be officially dedicated with a celebration in the coming months, but many people have already irrigated fields with water from the reservoir.

Completed reservoir in Wirkini, filling with water.

Completed reservoir in Wirkini, filling with water.

Wirkini is a small community located in the Province of Tiraque, Department of Cochabamba, and is about 12,700 feet above sea level in the Bolivian Altiplano.

The reservoir will provide irrigation water to at least 341 Bolivian farm families in the area and irrigate 269 hectares of land (average family size is 6, for a total number of beneficiaries of 2,046). Water is typically only available in the Bolivian Highlands for the 2-3 month rainy season, and the rest of the year is a struggle for farmers to have water access for their crops and livestock. These water reservoir projects retain water and provide water access year-round, which allows for farmers to grow more and better crops, which in turn increases family nutrition and household incomes.

Releasing water from reservoir to irrigate fields.

Releasing water from reservoir to irrigate fields.

Many People Work Together to Make These Projects a Reality

Every project Mano a Mano does depends on our partnership model – many people working together to complete projects that none of us could do on our own.

Residents of the Wirkini communty attending a meeting - which are held throughout the planning and construction process - at the site of the reservoir.

Residents of the Wirkini communty attending a meeting – which are held throughout the planning and construction process – at the site of the reservoir.

The Wirkini water project is a collaboration of many groups:

  • Mano a Mano International
  • our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo
  • community of Wirkini
  • Municipality of Tiraque
Wirkini residents placing boulders on levee wall to prevent soil erosion.

Wirkini residents placing boulders on levee wall to prevent soil erosion.

More Information About Wirkini Water Reservoir

Wirkini, Bolivia.

Wirkini, Bolivia.

Wirkini is too small to be listed on the official map.

Wirkini is too small to be listed on the official map.

Mano a Mano Water Projects – Why Do We Do These Projects?

Every Mano a Mano project begins with a request from a community. Over the past decade, many communities have approached us asking for water. In the Bolivian highlands, water is typically only available during the short 2-3 month rainy season; the rest of the year there is very little water. Most families eke out a living as subsistence farmers and depend on their crops to survive – “water is life.”

Mano a Mano has completed 8 major water projects in the Bolivian Altiplano. Check our our Project Map (click 'water' in the dropdown box) to learn more about each project.

Mano a Mano has completed 8 major water projects in the Bolivian Altiplano. Check our our Project Map (click ‘water’ in the dropdown box) to learn more about each project.

With a water project, there can be a constant source of water throughout the year, and farmers are able to improve their farm yields and grow crops such as vegetables that would otherwise be impossible, improving nutrition for their families and providing a larger harvest to sell at markets.

Interview with Farmers in Sancayani

Hear from farmers in Sancayani about the impact of a Mano a Mano water project in their community (also check out a PDF overview of Mano a Mano’s major water projects here):

Pictures of Mano a Mano Water Projects

In 2012 Mano a Mano dedicated a large water reservoir project in Sancayani, Bolivia. Sancayani is a rural community in the department of Cochabamba high in the Bolivian Andes – about 14,000 feet above sea level. The reservoir completely filled with water in its first year in operation this year; it provides irrigation water to 20,000 Bolivians.

In 2012 Mano a Mano dedicated a large water reservoir project in Sancayani, Bolivia. Sancayani is a rural community in the department of Cochabamba high in the Bolivian Andes – about 14,000 feet above sea level. The reservoir completely filled with water in its first year in operation this year; it provides irrigation water to 20,000 Bolivians.

Don Primitivo celebrating the new water pump at Mano a Mano's water reservoir in Laguna Sulti.

Don Primitivo celebrating the new water pump at Mano a Mano’s water reservoir in Laguna Sulti.

Mano a Mano's water reservoir in Laguna Sulti.

Mano a Mano’s water reservoir in Laguna Sulti.

Water reservoir in Ucuchi.

Water reservoir in Ucuchi.

Mano a Mano builds smaller water projects, like this atajado (water pond) in Omereque - 1 of 153 built in the area.

Mano a Mano builds smaller water projects, like this atajado (water pond) in Omereque – 1 of 153 built in the area.

In 2016, Mano a Mano has started a new type of water project - building surface wells.

In 2016, Mano a Mano has started a new type of water project – building surface wells.



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