Choquechampi is a small rural community located 30 miles south of Mano a Mano-Nuevo Mundo’s headquarters in Cochabamba. Families generally own 1-2 acre plots of land to raise crops and a few animals.
The area has 2 seasons – rainy and dry. Rain falls every day for 3-4 months but the rest of the year there is none. The reservoir is designed to capture the excess water during the rainy seasons for use during the year for irrigating crops, watering livestock and household use.
The design of the reservoir essentially is building a levee to create a natural ravine with the surrounding mountains, which captures rainwater and snowmelt. Over 1000 loads of 12 cubic-yards of fill material was compacted to make the earthen levee.
During the planning stage, more than 300 community residents attended public meetings that included Mano a Mano representatives from both the US and Bolivia, government officials from the municipality of Sacaba, and the Choquechampi residents. They voted strongly in favor to construct the reservoir and agreed to contribute 8-10 volunteer laborers every day for the durations of the project. Mano a Mano provided the majority of the funding, skilled labor and heavy equipment. Local municipality provided partial funding. Volunteers contributed 32,000+ hours to the project!!
When full, the reservoir can hold 700,000 cubic meters of water. 1600 acres of land can be irrigated and 4800 people benefit from this project. With access to water, crop harvests double or triple in turn doubles or triples most family’s income!