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.
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.
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.
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
More Information About Wirkini Water Reservoir
- Site visit by Mano a Mano’s co-founder Segundo Velasquez in July 2016
- Project pictures from June 2016 (99% complete)
- Site visit by Mano a Mano’s co-founder Segundo Velasquez in October 2015
- Water collecting in the reservoir from August 2015
- 5 construction pictures from July 2015
- 8 construction pictures from June 2015
- Wirkini project overview on Mano a Mano project map
- Pictures from May 2014 – Beginning of construction
- Construction update from mid-May 2014
- Pictures from July 2014
- Pictures from August 2014
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.”
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):