WATER SUPPLIES IN GUATEMALA
I am going to carry out a project on water supplies in Guatemala. In my project, I will come up with strategies that will help in restoring clean water for these people. For effective results, it’s important to come up with ways that will help in crossing the barriers of language, culture, distrust, and fear so as to establish a healthy rapport with the community on study.
What is water? I will start my project by defining this term. Water is, from academic definition, a gist that is colorless, tasteless and unscented. Through research, Fresh water is depicted as having low concentration of dissolved solids and salts, hence making it safe for human use. Fresh water is also known by others as sweet water. Human beings cannot survive without water because it is the most essential thing in their lives having numerous benefits to them; it is used in human consumption to build up their bodies, irrigation, environmental, and recreational purposes (Bio Sand Filter Manual, 2009).
We can now see the significant roles that water plays in our life-we human cannot live without it. But the question that revolves in my mind is whether the people of Mayan village will survive without the access of clean water. The reasons why I choose the people of Mayan village are, to me, limitless. These are people who continue to face the dilemma of scarcity of safe drinking water supplies. They are among the poorest village in Guatemala where waterborne diseases is one of the main causes of death among populations. Diseases such as diarrhea, intestinal, and gastritis have become a subject of the day for these people. Report from WHO has it that many children dies, in this village and to the country as a whole, as a result of consuming perilous water. Studies carried out over the past years have shown that several viral components and several bacterial are found in the drinking water, for example fecal coli form a bacterium that is the major bacteria in the water. This has posed a greater threat not only to the Mayan villagers, but also to tourists. Hence, the importance of carrying out this project immediately before the condition becomes severe. I believe that; after s successful completion of this project, the people of Mayan child mortality rate that has been high will eventually be reduced, hence the need to improve water quality will be crucial in order to improve public health as a whole (Bio Sand Filter Manual, 2009).
I recognize the fact that I will not be in a position of conducting this project alone, but I require the help of the organizations such as engineers without the boarders that comprises of American association of the students volunteers, who are dedicated team of engineers mostly helping the third world countries to have access to clean water. By having this team in my project will not only cut down cost of the project, but the cost of labor will be met too. This team will help in completing the project on time. For the reason that I will be starting the project from scratch; I will, therefore, source for donors to help my project financially such as the World Bank. I can say that, at this instant, I have done a good work since I have been able to establish some nonprofit organizations in California who have pledged support for the project as well. Initially, the project is estimated to consume a sensible amount of money, but the important thing is that the cost of maintenance of this project will be less expensive for the Mayan villagers to afford.
I am, therefore, going to establish ways of making water and not only water, but clean water available in Mayan village in Guatemala. Mayan village has been facing the problem of water shortages for years and to them, clean water is just a new term to them (Berkeley, 2008).
Guatemala is located at the northern part of Central America which is bordered by Mexico. It is an area that covers approximately 108, 890 km. Guatemala location between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea makes it to be highly prone to the hurricanes. The Mayan village, found in the rural areas, is comprised of poor people who have access to poor sanitation and this result to a problem of these lots from accessing safe drinking water. Some organizations such as W.H.O are trying to alleviate this problem by providing clean water to this rural community. Mayan village has been experiencing serious outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera that has led to loss of life especially infant life. These people have poor relation between them and the government as a result of continuous war that has ended up creating a room for fear. In order to carry out the project efficiently, I must address the people of Mayan village on the importance of working together with the government so as to speed up the rate of implementing the project to completion. The people of Guatemala must realize the fact that unity is power and separation will just create an environment for the filthy rich people to exploit the poor. Frequent genocide that are said to have been conducted by the government has led to the destruction of the economy, as a whole, thereby, leading to a problem when it comes to accessing clean water. For a better society tomorrow, I must take the inventiveness of educating the people on the importance of living peacefully among the people of Mayan and the government- healthy relationship creates room for development (Berkeley, 2008).
Guatemala and especially the Mayan village are comprised with many cultures, religion, among others. I must, therefore, look for an interpreter so as to bridge the gaps that exists as a result of language barrier. It is a fact that by establishing a good relationship with these rural people will result to better understanding between us. I will be in a position of gathering sensitive information from the people such as the mostly affected places so as to come up with a strategic position for the project-a position that is safe. I will achieve this through educating the society on the reason why we are conducting our project and with the use of a translator, I don’t think it will be a problem. Before setting our legs in Mayan village, I, as the project initiator, will make sure that all our team members perform an intensive research on how they are expected to behave in our targeted village so as to bridge the gap between culture and religious belief-respecting them. With this knowledge, I totally believe that we shall be seen as part of the community prepared to achieve a common objective as the people of Mayan village needs and not as outcast. I must interact with the Mayan village in one voice where communication is s clear as it could have been so as to avoid wrangles among them and end up promoting the use of clean water. The Mayan village mostly uses Spanish as their language. Guatemala, as a whole, is known to have different cultures. These varying cultures should be respected by us so as to carry out our task effectively. I can consult the village elders on the norms and customs that are accepted by the Mayan people so as not to experience a situation of culture shock that would affect my performance, while implementing the project. I can also use the readily available resources such as the national libraries so as to familiarize myself, fully, with what the Mayan people expect me to conduct myself. By adapting their way of living, will help us eradicate fear and distrust among us (Berkeley, 2008).
The most effective way of facilitating clean water in Guatemala and especially the Mayan village will be through the use of bio sand filters. Bio sand filters helps in the removal of suspended solids from water and, above all, pathogens which leads to contaminations of the water making it unsafe for drinking .This is managed through a combination of physical and biological processes that occur in the sand column covered with a bio film. The water from Mayan village is probably got from the Pacific Ocean or Caribbean Sea. Hence, it comprises of heavy metals, turbidity, and contaminations such as bacteria protozoa and viruses. This makes the use of bio sand filters as the most effective method to use in purifying this water (Berkeley, 2008).
Bio sand filters are made up of plastics that are both less costly in installation and maintenance. These conditions make it effective for use by the people of Guatemala in Mayan village, owing to the fact that the majority are poor as a result of political instabilities. Bio sand filter helps in making water safe and clean in the following ways: In the bio layer, there is a stage that mechanically traps the suspended solids and pathogens by trapping them physically into the spaces between the sand grains. Pathogens are, then, consumed by the microorganisms located in the bio layer. The pathogens are absorbed resulting to their death since they are cut off from accessing both food and oxygen. When the level of water rises in the reservoir, at the inlet, it pushes the water through the diffuser to the filters. Higher water level causes more pressure and less water level results to a decrease in pressure-physics law of pressure. The water must be kept still for some time-at least one hour- so as to allow more time for the bio layer to consume pathogens (Berkeley, 2008). The maintenance of this method is a must since as water flows in the system, it causes particles to accumulate that are, then, washed through a method called swirl and dump. This method has proofed to be more efficient since it an also remove the presence of heavy metals. The end result-clean water- obtained through the use of bio sand filters has been reported to come with health benefits such as reducing diseases like diarrheal diseases. As a result of heavy rains experienced in Mayan village, the construction of water harvesting catchment should also be a priority. This would help in alleviating the problems of unnecessary water flooding that could end up causing destruction of properties such as buildings. The Mayan people should take the action of vacating from areas along the oceans. Building along the ocean should also be discouraged, completely, by the Guatemala government (Bio Sand Filter Manual, 2009).
Having found the problems of water in Guatemala and especially the Mayan village, we can, therefore, conclude that through establishing good relationship with the community and closing up barriers such as language, culture, among others, we would end up having clean water available for all Mayan villagers. Hurricanes has contributed a lot in contaminating the water, but the use of bio sand filter would contribute in the supply of clean water for all Mayan villagers since it is not affected by hurricanes-it promotes the availability of clean water throughout the year (Bio Sand Filter Manual, 2009).
Bio Sand Filter Manual (2009). Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology.
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Mudslides kill Hundreds
Berkeley, G. G . (2008) .Water storage technology at Tikal, Guatemala. Cincinnati, Ohio: