The Lake Minnetonka Excelsior Rotary Club put together this summary report about the project they sponsored with us to drill deep water wells for 2 communities in Bolivia – Rotary Clubs of District 5950 Grant Project 2021-22: “Providing Reliable Access to Potable Water for Rural Bolivian Communities”

The project to drill deep wells and provide a reliable source of drinking water for two communities in rural Bolivia was successfully completed at the end of March 2022. The process was carried out as planned, despite some delays, and now hundreds of families have year-round access to fresh water, for the very first time!

2021-22 Rotary District 5950 Small International Grant Project Report

Planning: Initially, community residents in both Pampa Grande and Juzgado Chico asked for help to provide fresh water for their families and their small farms. Then they met with members of the host Rotary club, municipal leaders, and Mano a Mano (the implementing partner) to plan the projects, review timelines, and determine everyone’s responsibilities. Geological studies were conducted to ensure safe and productive drilling. Community residents, including Rotarians, cleared and prepared the sites and helped move the equipment into place.

Implementation: Community volunteers worked alongside engineers and other professionals throughout the drilling process. Mano a Mano Nuevo Mundo implemented the projects and monitored the construction of each well. In Pampa Grande, they had to drill through extremely hard rock, which required slower, longer and multiple drilling sessions. The hard rock also caused some damage to the equipment, which delayed the progress somewhat. Once repairs were made, drilling continued, and water was reached at 279 feet. In Juzgado Chico, an abundant supply of water was reached at 302 feet. Here the flushing of the water required an extended period of time. Community residents cheered once clean water was pumped from the well!

Training: Upon completion of the wells and successful testing of the water, two training programs were carried
out in each community:

  • Proper operation and maintenance of the well systems
  • Farming practices that maximize efficient water use, as well as good nutrition and hygiene

Community Impact: More than 1200 residents of Pampa Grande and 600 residents of Juzgado Chico are benefiting from the project, which will provide a reliable, year-round source of clean water, even in the dry season, and will have a profound impact on the health and well-being of each community.

How has the project provided community members with specific skills or knowledge that will allow them to help themselves? In each of the two communities, the training sessions on well operation and maintenance ensure that the residents and municipal leaders will be able to operate the wells safely and successfully for decades. Because of their involvement throughout the project, the community members have a deep pride in their accomplishment in bettering their community. This sense of pride and ownership of the wells guarantees continued success and sustainability. The additional training on optimal farming practices and good nutrition will provide these communities with skills to improve their families’ health, increase agricultural production, and earn a sustainable income so they can prosper.

Cooperating organization’s role: Mano a Mano coordinated the construction of the wells, provided skilled labor and the use of their drilling equipment, contracted with engineers and machine operators, and collaborated with community volunteers, Rotarians, and municipal leaders. Mano a Mano also coordinated the training sessions upon completion of the wells.

How was Rotary recognized? Rotary was recognized formally at celebrations and blessing ceremonies upon the completion of each well. In Pampa Grande, residents were so thankful for their new supply of fresh water that they traveled 325 km to Cochabamba to offer their gratitude in person. Also, plaques recognizing the support of Rotary clubs of District 5950 are on display in the communities and soon will be installed permanently at Mano a Mano’s St. Paul office.

How many Rotarians participated in the project: Six members of the host club, Cochabamba Norte Rotary, participated in all stages of the project in both communities. They were involved in the original needs assessment process, helped conduct the planning meetings, volunteered with the site preparation and cleanup, and assisted with the training sessions in both communities. They also shared project updates at club meetings and on their website and coordinated the ‘grand opening’ celebrations upon the completion of each well.

Juzgado Chico Deep Water Well

Pampa Grande Deep Water Well

Building the deep water well in Pampa Grande, Bolivia.

Learn More About Mano a Mano Water Projects