Dominican Republic Water Project

Purpose
A continued effort of providing a sustainable clean water program in rural villages of the Dominican Republic

Description
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Dominican Republic Water Project. During that time, over fourteen clubs in District 6970 have helped raise money necessary to purchase over three thousand point-of-use filters which in effect has the potential of touching fifteen thousand lives. These years have also seen three groups of individuals from various clubs volunteer their time and money to assist in the assembly and distribution of the filters in the surrounding villages. During that time, it is safe to say that all of us have learned a great deal with regards to what it takes to work in an environment where the political, economic, and cultural realities are unfamiliar to anything that we have become accustomed to. But, even so, great deal has been accomplished. Beyond the shipment of the filters, new partnerships have been forged. Within the Dominican Republic we have formed allegiances with the Bishop of the Catholic Church, Fr. Cesar Amaro whose influence has allowed the program to move product through the country's port system completely exonerated of custom duties and port fees. The Brugal Rum Company has graciously allowed the program to store filter parts that are awaiting assembly to be stored in their warehouse in Puerto Plata so that this aspect of the program does not tax the small villages that it is serving. And, associations keep expanding to include both political and business relations within the country that allow for the sustainability and expansion of the program in the future. Closer to home, our key allies now include the Center for Disease Control, Mission Harvest of Jacksonville, Crowley Marine, InMed, Water for People, and the American Water Works Association. More importantly, the program has grown beyond the boundaries of District 6970 to include District 7280 (Pennsylvania), as well as the Rotary Clubs of Key Largo, Puerto Rico, Hamptons Road Virginia, and Smyrna Georgia. It should also be noted that through the participation at the World Water Forum in Mexico City this past spring, the pogram has also increased its ties to the administration and leadership of Rotary International and is currently in direct dialogue with both Ron Denham and Lou Marciano who have been asked by RI to lead the clean water effort at an international level.

But, the distribution of water filers alone is not enough to insure the success of the program. Key to its future viability is its ability to address the issue of sustainability and one of the key components to sustainability is the program's ability to be economically viable and to not always rely on subsidization from the outside. To that end, the latest effort has been the construction of a facility that will manufacture the filters within the villages that they will be distributed in. This facility comes in the form of a vocational school dedicated to teaching construction skills. The advantage of this facility lies in the symbiotic nature between the school and water program in that the same tools and equipment used to teach construction can be used to manufacture the filters. This school is almost completed and now it is time to begin planning for the next phase of the work which will include furnishing and equipping the school as well as purchasing a van which will assist in the transportation of filter parts from Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo to the villages for final assembly.

As the saying goes: "teaching the community to fish" is the key to developing a sustainable program. Those skills, with the addition of a strong support group and education program are critical to the success of the program and it is to that end that we are moving the program. Once again, we are soliciting support from all of our past partners and any others wishing to work with us. With your help, we can make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. If your club is interested in partnering with us please contact Rob Overly: roverly@rinkdesign.com .



Organization
Dominican Republic Water Project

Duration
continued effort

Project Cost $50,000.00

Project Location
4227 Robin Hood Road
Jacksonville, Fl 32210
USA

For corrections, or updates please contact updates@worldwatercenter.org


 
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