bySimon Zimmer via web
The 6-month project in Tomarrazón financed by the Lutheran World Relief is a match to the Lazos de Agua project. The purpose of the project is to improve the community aqueduct to ensure sustainable access to water for the community and school.
One of the ways to have sustainable access to water is to educate the community on the importance of paying the monthly water fee. Currently, out of 260 families only 39 families are paying the water fee. This puts a great strain on resources for the water association ASOAATOM (Asociación Administradora Del Acueducto y el Alcantarillado de Tomarrazón) to provide a reliable and efficient service to the community.
Tomarrazón receives its water from the “Arroyo Majacinta” river nearby. One of the objectives is to repair the water inlet, which provides water to the 2,200 people in Tomarrazón. Since the water inlet is such an essential part of the aqueduct in Tomarrazón, Aguayuda planned a field trip to the water inlet with community members to teach them about the importance of protecting their water source and the importance of paying the water fee on time, which provides the necessary funds to operate and maintain the aqueduct in Tomarrazón.
With a community of 2,200 people we could not invite everyone in the community. Therefore, we decided to focus on one group specifically. In Tomarrazón, there is a government program - Familias en Acción. Familias en Acción works with three women in the community. Each woman has her own group of approximately 50 women in Tomarrazón. The women groups eagerly accepted the field trip invitation. The day of the field trip, 105 women attended.
The field trip included educational posters that were strategically placed at different points along the path to the water inlet. Each poster had a theme: previous status of the water inlet, actual and realistic costs to operate and maintain an aqueduct and the benefits of having an optimal aqueduct.
On the way to the water inlet, the posters were explained to and discussed with the women. Once the women reached the water inlet, food and drinks were provided. This was followed by a positive discussion on the importance of conserving water, taking care of natural resources and paying the monthly water fee on time. A questionnaire was provided to the three women’s group to reflect on the themes mentioned above.
The women realized that on a monthly basis the water association had very little resources to operate and maintain the aqueduct in Tomarrazón. They also realized the importance of having to pay their water fee because without it, the water association will have a difficult time to provide a good service for everyone.
The feedback from the women that attended the field trip was very positive. For many it was the first time visiting the water inlet, so it was something special for them. The women are discussing among themselves of establishing the field trip as an annual event.