13 April 2015

Groundbreaking in San Matías, El Paraíso

Construction has begun on AguaClara’s 11th water treatment plant in Honduras! The new plant will treat 14 L/s and serve about 3,500 people in four communities: San Matías, Robledal, Corral Falso, and San Francisco. The project is being financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) and the community, and will include the construction of the plant as well as training and capacity-building with future plant operators and local water administrators. COSUDE has helped finance several other AguaClara plants in the past, including those in Alauca, San Nicolás, Morocelí, and Jesús de Otoro. We are implementing the project with our long-time partner Agua Para el Pueblo.
The community is very excited about the project, as we saw when the students visited San Matías in January. We received our warmest welcoming ceremony yet, complete with a press briefing at the plant site, a town assembly with speeches, awards, music, and dancing, and a dinner banquet with more music and dancing. Community awareness and involvement are critical to the success and sustainability of our projects, so it’s really encouraging to see such an enthusiastic response from the people and leaders of San Matías.

This plant will be the first AguaClara plant to include an entrance tank reservoir, designed to assist in backwashing the filter if the flow into the plant drops during the dry months of summer. Elevated walls on a portion of the entrance tank will store water during normal operation, so that if the flow rate into the plant decreases significantly the operator can release this reserve to increase the flow through the plant up to what’s necessary to backwash the filter.

We've been developing the project since last November, and we officially broke ground a month ago on March 9, 2015. We expect to finish construction of the plant in August, followed by two months of practical, hands-on training for the new operators. That means we’re just five months away from providing clean drinking water to the people of San Matías!