For the past few days I have been talking with Sairy and Bill Dorsey about the Water System in Cuesta Arena. As most of you know we have been working with company in the DR as well as with the Mentor Ohio Rotary for a grant. Sairy recently sent us the quote and recommendations from the company so we can apply for the 3 to 1 grant matching program through the Rotary. We currently have $5,000 which with the grant will be made into $15,000. Bill will be presenting the beginning of April and we will wait from there to find out if it is approved and what we will be granted. After much research and consideration we have decided on the following for Cuesta Arena:
1. The water from the well is just plain not useable. We have researched digging another well, deeper than the ones we have and they would be contaminated by sea water as well. No matter where we dig in Cuesta Arena or how deep we dig it will be contaminated salt water. This is common in many places around the DR and this is the solution they use in those cases.
2. The best solution is to purchase the water and ship it in, building a cistern and using our current system to filter the water.
3. The country provides 6 hours of electricity a day to the area. However, we have no idea when those 6 hours will take place. We will wire electricity from the bottom of the hill to the property and purchase batteries. The batteries will be charged whatever 6 hours the electricity is turned on so that we can use the energy when we need it.
4. The grant we are applying for will cover the initial costs of set up and a year worth of service. We must educate and teach the people to trust the water. We will then begin charging for the water, discounted from what they are currently paying but enough for the community to value it. This will be made known from the very beginning. The money profited from the water will be used to continue to purchase and truck the water in, buy new filters every 6 months, pay for monthly maintenance of the system, and pay for Domingo to distribute the water to the community
5. This summer we currently have 4 groups scheduled to be in Cuesta Arena. We will construct the cistern this summer as well as work on the missionary house. Hopefully we will have the grant but if not we will set them up to be able to use the grant money in the fall to complete the rest of the system.
6. Long term plans will be to work with the government on their project of piping water into Cuesta Arena. We do not have a time line for this project. As we complete other projects we will develop ways to catch rain water for filtering as well.
We do not want to create a project that will not function without the continuing support of missionaries. We do not want to make this community rely on outsiders to function. The system must be self sustaining in order for this to be a successful project.
This summers construction goals will be to construct the cistern, finish the plastering on the missionary house, fix the plumbing of the missionary house, and lay the filler sand in the missionary house. We will also be doing VBS with the children