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Engineers Without Borders - Sonoma County Professional Chapter supports community-driven development programs worldwide through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while fostering responsible leadership. Our vision is a world in which all communities have the capacity to meet their basic human needs.
What would you do if yesterday your drinking water supply was contaminated and you had no other source of clean water? For the people of Jaldar in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru this is exactly what has happened. The people of Jaldar, a community of about 25 families living on the Yarapa River, manually collect drinking water everyday from either the muddy river, a stream approiximately 1 mile away, small buckets collecting rainwater, or purchasing water from the town of Nauta, several hours boat ride away. As a result of long standing forestry practices in the region, a large track of land separating the Yarapa River, a beautiful black water tributary of the Amazon and the larger Ucayali River has completely eroded. A few years ago, the contaminated Ucayali breached the clean Yarapa River water, literally changing overnight the quality of water the people of Jaldar have access to.
As of March 2013, a team of Engineers Without Borders - Sonoma County Professionals (EWB-SCP) with the assistance of Amazon Promise travelled to Jaldar, Loreto, and Nuevo Jerusalen, remote villages in the North Eastern region of the Peruvian Amazon to determine the viability of a water supply project. During this assessment trip, EWB-SCP held community meetings, performed interviews with community members, gathered health and community assessment data, and collected soils and water quality samples. The result of the adventurous trip was the establishment of a partnership and a signed Memorandum of Understanding with Amazon Promise and the villages of both of Jaldar and nearby Nuevo Jerusalen and to complete two water harvesting projects designed by the EWB Sonoma county professional chapter.
We have successfully completed these projects and hope to do many more for the surroundng villages that use water from the same contaminated river.