June 11-14, 2019: Solar-powered water access for 35 families in Zanzibar, Nicaragua

In June 2019, eight local Nicaraguan volunteers joined GRID to install a solar-powered water pump to bring potable water to 35 families in Zanzibar, a rural community located in the department of Chontales in central Nicaragua.

The small, rural community of Zanzibar is located over 12 miles from the closest city, where local residents can go to buy basic supplies and goods. The national electric grid only extends to a certain point in the community, leaving most households without access to electricity. Due to the high costs of electricity, those households that can physically connect to the grid still face financial barriers to accessing electricity.  Most members of the community earn an income working in small-scale dairy farming and agriculture, and some residents travel outside Zanzibar for institutional jobs. There is one multigrade school in the community that goes up to grade 5, after which children who are able to continue their education travel to a neighboring town on Saturdays to attend secondary school classes. 

Women in Zanzibar occupy traditional roles in the household, which often includes being responsible for obtaining water for their families. Water in the community is sourced from a local spring or watering hole, which is located over half a mile from the nearest home. Previously, women extracted the water using a mechanical rope pump, and carried the water by hand from the well to their home, an energy- and time-intensive task, especially given the difficult terrain in this area.

Eight Nicaraguan volunteers joined GRID for a hands-on training opportunity in Zanzibar to install a solar-powered water pump system in the community. With the installation of the system, water is now lifted with the power of the sun from the local spring to two water tanks, and then distributed by gravity flow to 35 households in the Zanzibar community. With the system up and running, 35 families now have direct access to potable water right at their home, saving community members, especially women, a significant amount of time and energy.

This project was made possible in partnership with local non-profit organizations Renovables and AVODEC. 

See photos from the installation!

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