El Sauce

The people of El Sauce, a rural village in Honduras, lack access to clean water. The 600 residents are impacted by waterborne illnesses via a distribution system with serious supply, maintenance and contamination issues. El Sauce lies five kilometers west of Villanueva, and is comprised of 50 to 75 homes.

EWB NoVa’s community-based organization partner in El Sauce is Armor of Hope (AOH) Ministries whose mission is to alleviate human suffering in impoverished areas through sustainable, faith-based development. AOH has been working in El Sauce for eight years, providing primarily acute healthcare to the village, as well as providing health education services. The EWB-NoVa team is excited to build upon this partnership and implement quality solutions for the people of El Sauce.

EWB NoVa conducted an assessment trip in November of 2015 to meet the residents, understand their concerns, and evaluate system inefficiency as well as the needs for repair and upgrades. Currently the water supply system consists of an aged network of PVC piping, sourced by three spring boxes of varying age and quality, supported by a series of storage tanks. Following the initial assessment trip, the team has identified additional water quality sampling needed to close the gaps in the information collected on the first trip. The team also discovered the need for changes to the oversight and management of the water system and has already begun working closely with the community water committee to begin implementing changes.

The team is now preparing a second assessment trip for summer 2016 to conduct a more comprehensive evaluation. Prior to departure, the team hopes to prepare for a range of activities that includes water quality testing, conveyance infrastructure and site mapping, health, safety and system maintenance education, as well as Best Management Practices (BMP) development. The team also plans to meet with representatives from the Honduran embassy in Washington, DC to develop deeper diplomatic relations with the government and elicit direct support for the El Sauce community. The team contacts the El Sauce community’s Water Committee monthly to get updates on the village’s repair and fundraising efforts, and to keep them informed of the team’s progress.

The EWB-NoVa team is eager to consolidate support for this project, and anyone interested is encouraged to volunteer time, materials, and/or funding! For information, contact the team at elsauce@web-nova.org. Team meetings are held every 2nd Tuesday of the month immediately following the EWB General Body Meetings, and every 4th Tuesday of the month at 7pm. All meetings are located at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center (7054 Haycock Rd, Falls Church, VA 22043). Students and professionals are welcome!