This week we were excited to get an update from our partners with Pure Water for the World. Please keep reading to learn more from PWW.
On March 16, 2020, the Honduran government shut down all non-essential businesses, including PWW, in response to COVID-19. While a limited number of PWW staff was given special permission to work on key projects and programs, work with individual homes had been halted. Last week, the Honduran government lifted some of these restrictions, issuing permission for up to 60% of staff (depending on region) to return to their work activities, maintaining strict protocols of biosecurity to prevent the transmission of COVID.
In Trojes, the region where El Tablazo is located, the PWW team was able to get back to work! Early in the week, all PWW team members received detailed instruction regarding the new required protocols, including the use of personal protection equipment and biosecurity necessary to keep both our staff and the families we visit protected.
The PWW team let the families of El Tablazo know we would be coming to work in their community again. They first hosted an open-air, outdoor meeting with community leaders to build confidence and explain the new procedures. This was an important step to help families feel comfortable and safe with our team going into their homes to install the biosand water filters.
El Tablazo is a difficult community to reach, as it requires crossing a river. The PWW team had to ride in a canoe to deliver and distribute the 23 biosand filters. Once the river was crossed, the filters were carried by horse to a central location where families came to collect their filters and bring back to their homes. A PWW team member, along with a Community Agent (a local volunteer community member), would then visit each of the 23 homes to install the filters.
The family in the photos is Novis Noel González Espinoza. They have eight family members who live in their home. They were very excited and thankful when PWW came to install the filter. They shared that they had concerns that the PWW team was not going to return to El Tablazo because of COVID19. They congratulated the PWW team for having the courage to return to help them. Novis said, “We were worried about not having clean water, especially now that the rainy season has started. The water we were drinking looks like chocolate and tastes like dirt. We really don't want to get sick, as hospitals may have patients with COVID19.” A total of 10 filters were installed last week, with the rest scheduled for this week when the PWW team returns to El Tablazo. Photo of the Gonzales family, with some of its members.
WASH in Schools
Parents helped dig the pits and painted the walls of the school handwashing and latrine (WASH) station, as PWW team members worked on the latrine slabs and the placement of the rooftops for the WASH station. Even a pet was around to wiggle a tail of happiness. It was getting late and, with the 5:00pm government-required curfew, the team had to finish for the day. They will return this week to finalize the school filter installation as well as place the doors on the latrines. Children have not returned to classes yet. When they do, they will find clean, safe water and a safe place to wash their hands and use the bathroom at their school…for the first time ever. Thank you, Premier Water!