We visited Calari on May 9th, 2013, after spending our second night in a hostel in the revived mining town of Coro Coro. I was accompanied by three board members from the US and one board member from the UK. We arrived a little early, so we waited on the community members and the Bolivian project staff. She would be arriving from La Paz.
When everyone arrived, we had a brief meeting with the community in the village meeting hall. The meeting was well attended by the villagers. Since the project was only recently approved, we talked briefly about the next steps and how QBL works.
This won’t be the first water project for Calari. Several years ago, another organization named SEMTA installed a water system. The system failed due to poor design. The village center is located across a river from the spring. SEMTA buried the water pipe under the river. Unfortunately, the river surged at one point and swept away the piping. The community was unprepared to fix the water system. The water tanks appear to have design flaws and, due to a lack of maintenance, have deteriorated significantly. They may serve to augment the new system, but QBL feels that it is best to install a new tank and piping. In order to avoid future problems with the river, we will build concrete supports that will support the pipe going over the river.
As with every project that QBL does, we will train the community in the installation and maintenance of the water system so that they can repair it if there are any problems in the future. We will also encourage them to set up monthly payments into a sustainability fund. This will allow them to pay for any required repairs.
Below are some of the pictures from our visit. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.