A Community Health Worker approached us with a problem in his village—57 families were left without running water during the dry season, which has now become 5 months long. These families, (1/4 of the community) had to haul water by hand from other areas of the village. Many got up in the middle of the night to fill buckets with the trickle they managed to get in their homes. One man even dug a hole to lower his faucet below his house ground level and increase water flow. The CHW gave us a proposal for increasing the water pipe diameter to provide all families with water. Petén Health provided funding for the new PVC pipe and the community members donated all labor. We saw this as an important public health issue and were happy to collaborate!
Update: 57 families in this village now have running water year round from the water project, funded by Petén Health and built by the villagers. Impacted families expressed their delight that they no longer had to wait up at night to fill their 5 gallon jugs with the trickle of water that arrived at their homes after others had gone to bed. "Now I can go to bed early!" exclaimed one relieved mother.