Community Assessment of the El Carrizalito, Honduras

Abstract

El Carrizalito is a community of 186 people in rural Honduras that have limited access to clean water. The people in this community must walk down a mountain to their water source and carry enough water back to their homes for their whole family every day. The Northeastern University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-NEU) traveled to El Carrizalito in December 2011 to perform assessment activities to determine the feasibility of different water system designs. On this trip, EWB-NEU obtained valuable information to determine several options for the village, which included: a gravity fed system using a new water source, a rainwater catchment system, a well with a hand pump, or pumping water at the current source and evaluation of methods for powering that pump. The research completed in the village included town meetings with the community, water quality testing, land surveying, site visits with a hydrogeologist to determine the possibility of digging wells, and meeting with electrical engineers for the options of extending the electrical grid for powering of a pump. In addition, the design is sensitive to the unique needs of the village that have developed through communication with the group. EWB-NEU is using the obtained data to better assess the various options to bring water to El Carrizalito and to determine what further research is needed.