Imagine waking up in the morning, turning on the tap so you can start cooking breakfast for your family, and … there’s no water. You paid the water bills, but the water company doesn’t have enough water to supply your house with the water you need.
In Mocan Campana, Baitoa, Dominican Republic, this is often the reality.
This small community lies In a hilly area of the Dominican Republic with steep roads that are impossible to travel when it rains. Mocan Campana is on the border of two townships, meaning that it is often overlooked by both local governments for structural improvements.
Although it is hard to get to, the area has water pipes — but not enough water to fill them. And, the nearest natural water source is a river 4.5 miles away, too far and too difficult a trip for most people to make. So before Surge, people used to collect rainwater in garbage bins, pails, bottles, and other containers. But during the dry season, these quickly became depleted.
If families wanted to ensure that the water they were drinking was clean, they either had to add bleach or boil the water. A few families were able to buy 5-gallon bottles of purified water, but with a local average monthly income of $96, purified water was a luxury for most people.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors and our partnership with local development group Project Hearts, we have been able to help the people of Mocan Campana. We have installed 43 large, 500-gallon water tanks in homes and provided 19 clay water filters. These provide access to clean, safe water year-round, regardless of the season. Today, 140 adults and 57 children no longer live in daily fear of running out of water.
One of these children is Maileyni Canela, who lives with her grandparents and her brother, Luis. For the past nine years, her mom has been living and working in the city. At 11 years old, she likes to spend her time drawing people and butterflies. Despite the challenges she faces, Maileyni is excelling in school and is already in grade 8.
Two years ago, Maileyni’s grandmother, Reina, enrolled in a course offered by Project Hearts to become a Community Health Leader. During the course, she learned about the best ways to prevent common illnesses, such as those developed by drinking unclean water. After completing the course, Reina was able to obtain both a water tank and a water filter for Maileyni and the rest of her family. They now have affordable access to safe, clean water. This ensures that Maileyni is healthy, doesn’t miss school due to illness, and is able to keep excelling at everything she does, including drawing butterflies.
With your help, we can make sure that even more communities like Maileyni’s have access to clean, safe water. Share your love this holiday season by donating now.
Written by Ashley Quinlan, Surge Fellow