2013 Engineers Without Borders Grant Program | Water Distribution – El Carrizo, Honduras

Helping communities meet their basic human needs
Dec 20, 2013 8:00 AM ET

2013 Engineers Without Borders Grant Program

Tetra Tech is proud to support Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) and Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB Canada) to help communities in developing countries meet their basic human needs through lasting, scalable projects and technologies. Tetra Tech has a long history of corporate support for both organizations, including financial sponsorship and leadership involvement.

Tetra Tech's EWB-USA Grant Program provides funding to individual projects with which U.S.-based Tetra Tech associates are involved. From a field of worthy applicants, Tetra Tech selected four 2013-2014 EWB-USA grant recipients. In this article, we focus on water distribution in El Carrizo, Honduras.

Creating a Sustainable Water Distribution System in El Carrizo, Honduras

El Carrizo, Honduras, is a small community of 121 low income families. It is located half an hour’s drive from the larger neighboring municipality of Choluteca. The community lacks a potable water source and uses a well with a manual pump. With no direct water source to the homes, residents are required to carry the water on foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn cart. Children often miss time from school carrying water to their homes. Women also spend hours each day pumping and carrying the water needed for daily living.

The goal of the El Carrizo Water Distribution Project is to supply clean, readily available water to each residence to help alleviate school absenteeism and waterborne illnesses. Tetra Tech is supporting the EWB University of Kentucky Chapter (EWB-UK) to continue their series of water distribution-related projects in El Carrizo to provide the community with easily accessible running water. Since their initial assessment trip in 2012, the EWB-UK team has now completed the preliminary design for El Carrizo’s water distribution system. The system includes a well pump, storage tank, distribution lines, and household connections for the community’s 121 families.

EWB-UK also helped establish a local water committee that has started collecting fees to help generate funds for future improvements, system maintenance, and other community improvement projects. The chapter has completed their second assessment trip, which took place in August 2013, to develop community education programs and to explain the designs EWB-UK developed for the community. The chapter has also started the search for local contractors and construction crews for the system’s construction, which is scheduled for implementation in July 2014.