We are pleased to share an update on the Community Water and Sanitation Project in Bilampi, Nicaragua.
This Global Grant with funding from Rotary District 5870, Rotary International, and Rotary Clubs including West Austin, Bastrop, Georgetown Sun City, Cosmopolitan, the E-Club and Sheridan is a partnership with the Rotary Club of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Austin-based Project Schoolhouse serves as the overall project manager with financial oversight provided by the Matagalpa Club.

The Challenge:
In the preliminary community assessment, the largest problem identified by the community is having to haul water every day, a task that primarily falls to women and young girls. Community members reported having to carry water from open sources such as rivers or creeks, water that is shared with wildlife and livestock. Another issue identified was that in the summer dry seasons most recently the rivers and streams are completely empty and they have to walk further to find alternative sources of water. All water needed for the household and schools have to be carried from distant sources. Community members reported that most did not have latrines at their homes. Funding from the Rotary Global Grant will provide clean, safe water and latrines to 41 households, 3 schools and a church in  the community of Bilampi, Nicaragua by December 2021.

Project Update:
The Bilampi water project was started in the early spring of 2021. We are thrilled to report high community volunteer engagement, putting the project ahead of schedule. As of late August 2021, the water project is 60% complete. The fresh-water spring has been captured and the tank has been built. The distribution system which requires hand-digging miles of trench to lay the PVC pipe is 70% complete, with 4 km of pipe left to install. Final steps on the water project and installation of meters at each access point should be fully complete by the end of November, followed by building and installing latrines at every home, school and church in the community. The full project has a projected completion date of December 1, 2021.
The impact this project will have on the community will be life-changing. During the design phase, the Project Schoolhouse water engineer, Rosalio, who has been designing water systems in Nicaragua for over 20 years, reported the Bilampi community as having one of the worst water situations that he has seen. We are grateful for the sponsorship of the Rotary Clubs of Matagalpa, Nicaragua and of West Austin, Texas in making this water and sanitation project a reality.