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Santa Luzia Community, Community Water System

In the heart of the Amazon Region, the community of Santa Luzia resides. Two hundred and fifty-two Brazilians live here. For their whole lives, the members of this community walked for an hour to a river and then carried full buckets for their drinking, hygiene, and sanitation necessities.

This water is contaminated. When consumed, the river water caused various health problems for the community including skin rashes and infections, diarrhea, and vomiting. Serious gastrointestinal illness also majorly increased medical expenses and forced community members extra expenses, including healthcare bills and buying bottles of water for safe consumption. This was especially of concern during the dry season, which lasts for 6 months of the year. During this time, temperatures average around 96.8°F, and clean, safe, water is immensely scarce.

One member of the community, Andreza Faba, 85, said; “for all my life, I had to carry large amounts of clothing every morning to wash them in the river. I had to bathe myself and my children in the river. I had to carry buckets of water with my children and husband from the river to the house to provide water for our home.”

It took two years, but eventually, a new water system was established with the help of Wine To Water Amazon. Together with local community members and leaders, an adapted community water system that is safe, effective, and reliable for the community year-round was born. A large aqueduct, this technology was established with the help of the 45 families in the area. Together, the local people and Wine To Water constructed the aqueduct by drilling a deep artesian well. Then, a 10-meter-high tower was constructed and fiberglass tank was installed. The tank stores 12,500 liters of water, which store water during times of drought. In addition, connecting pipes run from the tank to each home and one local school. Finally, each family also received a household, portable filter, which eliminates 99.999% of turbidity and bacteria in the water.

Finally, the community was trained on the Multiple Barrier Method, which teaches community members how to 1. Pick safe water sources, 2. Recognize a water source that is protected and safe, 3. Apply an appropriate water treatment, and 4. Monitor the water source.

Because of clean water, the inhabitants of Santa Luzia have easier, happier lives in many ways. For one, there is universally less spending on water or healthcare because, by using filters and putting into practice the knowledge acquired in the Multiple Barrier Method training, illnesses from drinking contaminated water have greatly decreased. Such is the case of Andreza, who was mentioned earlier.

“Thanks to Wine To Water, the lives of my grandchildren and future great-grandchildren will improve, and I will be able to enjoy water directly at home during my old age,” Andreza said.

And just as Andreza now enjoys access to clean, safe water right from her home, all of the youth, adults, and elderly from the 45 households have also benefited in other ways. Farmers now have water for their crops throughout the seasons along with more time to sell their products! This includes crops like watermelon, passion fruit, banana, bell pepper, yucca, and kale, in the nearby cities of Tabatinga, Benjamin, and Leticia located on the triple border of the Amazon. These plants grow exponentially better with a reliable, clean water source, and the families in the community benefit from sustainable food sources too.

Thanks to this comprehensive and amazing project, 252 lives have been transformed with the power of clean water. This transformation will continue impacting this community for generations to come.


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