Mano a Mano originally constructed the Laguna Sulti reservoir in 2008, which provides a critical source of water for household use and crop irrigation for the region’s subsistence farmers. An expansion of this flat land-based (in contrast to ravine-based) reservoir is currently underway, and is about 65% completed.
Before being allowed to enter the community with the required heavy machinery in August, our operators and mechanics from our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo all tested negative for COVID-19. They have been living at the project site in one of the ocean freight containers that carried medical supplies from Mano a Mano’s St. Paul warehouse to Bolivia.
This expansion project, when combined with a major one dedicated in March this year and a third one planned for next year, will increase the reservoir water volume by 350,000 cubic meters. The expansion involves dredging one meter of clay mixture from the bottom of selected sections of the reservoir, then using this material to increase the levee wall height and low portions of surrounding land. Over time, levee walls settle. The expansion increases the long-term functionality of the reservoir, in addition to making more water available for more families.