Planting Seeds with Solar Power


It was a sunny day when Change for Children’s field team first visited the community of Ismael Castillo – a community of cattle ranchers, located one bridge-less river crossing (in the rainy season) and dozens of giant gravel speedbumps (speed control for dust abatement in the dry season) away from the nearest paved road. Ismael Castillo was without water, reliant on the neighbouring community’s water source and buckets carried by the hands, heads, or bicycles of women and children back to their homes and families.

Despite their lack of a reliable community water source, the community’s Water Committee had been participating in the workshops being provided by the Technology for Sustainable Water Resource Governance project and were eager to apply the acquired knowledge to a safe water solution they could call their own.

And so, with the sun high in the sky, it was settled – a solar powered solution would be installed!

Twelve solar panels now provide the energy required to pump water from the new well to a community water tank placed high up on a hill to provide sufficient pressure to gravity-feed water to the homes of each of the thirty families in Ismael Castillo.

At the inauguration of the system, we hear from Jose, the Water Committee President, that convenient access to clean water (treated by a chlorinator on the new tank) seems almost surreal. We hear from Carla, the Water Committee Treasurer, that the water meters installed make the tariffs charged to families fair.

We hear from Janet, not a member of the Water Committee, but who felt compelled to speak nonetheless because she was just so excited to have water available at ALL hours of the day! She calls it a ‘dream come true.’

We hear from the community that the way they will give thanks for the opportunity is to take great care of the water system – to make sure the system functions well into the future – to live well and to live healthy.

And so, with a new water system in Ismael Castillo and a committed Water Committee in place, we are Planting Seeds. 


Central America and the Caribbean In The Field Nicaragua Water