During our adventures in Honduras, it has become obvious that a local community plays a huge part in the success and development of an AguaClara plant. With over a dozen plants now in operation, after 8 days we have had the chance to see a variety of plants and the towns and people who they serve. The difference between plants where the local people actively engage their plant and those where they don’t can become significant over time, and a few of the plants we have visited so far exemplify this.
|Soccer teams from members of the trip and the community of Jesus de Otoro|
The town of Tamara has one of the most active and proud Water Boards we have had the privilege of meeting, as well as one of the best plant operators that AguaClara and Agua Para el Pueblo works with. The people of Tamara responded to their improved water supply by willingly helping to fund further improvements to the plant, such as a filtration system and storage tank.
|The filtration system and drain to the water tank in Tamara|
The plant’s staff were there with us every step of the way trying to learn and help us fix some small issues with the plant’s flocculator and sedimentation tanks. It was very reassuring to see that the plant in Tamara will be in good hands for many years to come.
|The new plant at Las Vegas|
One of the plants we’ve visited most recently also shows a lot of promise. In Las Vegas, where our largest implemented plant to date is located, the Mayor and other local politicians hosted a media event for our arrival. Although this was done with the hope that the public would look more favorably on an increase in water taxes, the investment by politicians in this plant will help ensure that it only improves over time.
|A plant operator at Las Vegas helping with testing|
Plant operators in Las Vegas also helped with experiments and work on the plant while we were there, such as helping to sample the flocculation blanket and trying to improve the filters. As with Tamara, in Las Vegas it seems the plant is in the hands of inquisitive and driven people and is set up for long standing success.
|At the Mayor of Las Vegas's house|
A different example might be found at Morocelí. This plant operates well and the operators and board were happy to receive us; yet, the plant has had an issue with one of the original filters installed leaking some sand. This was known before we got there, but nothing has been done to fix the issue. While we visited the plant a decision to replace the part was made, but further action may be up to the locals. The plant’s performance is still of great quality, and in the end the people who are closest with the plant hold the key to its future in fixing issues like these.
|The plant workers at Morocelli and nearly everyone from our trip to Honduras|
Although we know the people of Honduras sometimes depend on AguaClara and Agua Para el Pueblo for technical support, our travels have made it obvious that the ultimate success of a plant depends on close collaboration between a community and our organizations. Thankfully, it is easy to forge and maintain good relations with people in places where we are trying to improve their quality of life. As AguaClara’s initiative continues to grow, hopefully more and more people will help to get behind this project and bring clean water to those who need it.