The Rotary Club of Shepherdstown WV is partnering with the Rotary Club of Santa Tecla, El Salvador, on a Rotary Global Grant project that will provide a reliable source of clean, safe drinking water for the El Salvadoran community of Casa Blanca.
The project will involve drilling a new well, constructing a delivery system, and training the community in the facility’s maintenance and use.
The total cost will be $112,000. The work is expected to be completed this year.
Casa Blanca is in the La Magdalena Canton of the Santa Ana Department of El Salvador, in the northwest part of the country.
Currently, its 350 families (1,400 residents) only have access to drinking water through a communal well in a neighboring community and must transport the water to their homes themselves in plastic containers. The accompanying photo shows some of Casa Blanca’s women and children gathering water in this way.
This access is now limited to three days a week and it will soon be further restricted—and then eventually eliminated completely—because of jurisdictional issues concerning the land where the well is situated.
The Rotary Club of Shepherdstown has been the prime US sponsor of the effort to give Casa Blanca a new well of its own. The Club’s members have contributed nearly $10,000 toward the project, and John Taylor, a member of the Club’s International Service Committee, has done much of the organizational work.
Major funding has come from Rotary District 7360, which contributed $40,000, and Rotary International, which contributed another $32,000. The remaining funds have been contributed by Rotary Clubs in Berkeley Springs, Keyser, and Martinsburg, WV; Ringtown, Selinsgrove, and Emporium, PA; the Carroll Creek Rotary Club of Frederick, MD; the University Club of Denver, CO; and individual donors.
In addition to partnering with the Rotary Club of Santa Tecla on the project, the Shepherdstown Rotary Club has also worked with three other local organizations: Asociacion Salvador a Pro Salud Rural (ASAPROSAR); Asociacion de Desarrollo Comunal Sol de Occidente, Caserio Casa Blanca; and Canton La Magdalena, Santa Ana/ADESCOSDO.
“This is a significant project that will greatly help the citizens of Casa Blanca,” said Shepherdstown Rotary Club President Sean Murtagh. “A big thanks to John Taylor, the members of his committee, and everyone else who is making it happen.”