The Centro Educativo del Nivel Basico COPA Bombita is a primary school located in the batey (impoverished sugarcane plantation town - see more info below under “batey”) of Bombita in the southwestern Dominican Republic, near the provincial capital of Barahona. This small school was founded in 1996 by the UK/Florida based organization, COPA (Community Partners Association). Although Bombita provides an excellent source of education, they do not have the means to provide healthy, potable water for their students to drink.
Unlike many communities where water is scarce, the Bombita School has an abundance of water that comes to the school from a nearby river that feeds water to the sugarcane fields. They also have a rainwater collection system that channels the rain into holding tanks at the school. What COPA cannot provide for its students and their families, is a way to purify the very contaminated river water that so often makes the children sick, causing them to miss school. Currently, the small school has to purchase costly potable, drinking water from a truck that visits the community twice each week. Teacher, Frakafia Pérez tells us she is frustrated that her students often miss school days because of water-borne stomach illnesses as well as bacteria and parasitic related illnesses due to the lack of proper hygiene and sanitation facilities.
With a full project installation, WWR will purchase and install a complete water filtration system. This includes: a Pura UBV-3 system with one sediment filter, one carbon filter, one UV bulb, a 3-day WASH course, water pump, piping installation, pressure tank, water storage tank, 1 or 2 drinking/handwashing stations. Installation takes 10 to 14 days to complete plus 3 additional days of hygiene education instruction for the school and parents. WWR will also provide weekly WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) education to the students and maintenance and training of the filtration system. By teaching the school staff and selected community members how to maintain and operate the equipment and continue the WASH curriculum independently over the course of our commitment, we hope to achieve not only a sustainable program, but a higher level of health throughout the community as well. This level of change involves teaching people to adjust their daily habits through education and will not happen overnight. World Water Relief is ready for the challenge of improving the hygiene and sanitation culture of this community.