Program Updates

Healthy School and Safe Water in San Juan Tejupa

Posted Apr 10, 2015

In the community of San Juan Tejupa, Puebla, the reality is that the pipes in the Fortino Ayaquica Rural Primary School are in their last years of useful life. Partially as a result of the school’s cognizance of this situation, it has been the most active stakeholder in the hygiene, sanitation, and health workshops that were a key part of Living Water’s WASH intervention in the community. The school’s parents association and principal were so enthusiastic about the workshops that they made the school the host institution for the monthly hygiene promotion activities conducted in 2014 and early 2015.

Bolstered by the hygiene workshops, the school decided to take action to improve its WASH infrastructure that serves 549 students each day. Using its own funds, the school built a filling station for drinking water jugs that it equipped with five Sawyer filters donated by Living Water through the Lazos de Agua program. The school staff now uses the Sawyer filters to produce all of the students’ drinking water as well as the water used for cooking in the school cafeteria. Now not only do the members of the school’s Parents Association report that they feel happy that their children are drinking the filtered water, but the school is saving $847 ($56 USD) per month since it no longer purchases bottled water.

While the school built the water filling station, Living Water trained the Parents Association and school staff on the assembly, maintenance, and use of the Sawyer filters. 126 parents attended the formal hand-over of the Sawyer filters, showing just how broad their participation was in the project. One community member, Miguel Ángel, commented upon seeing the quality of the filtered water being provided to the students, “Now this water really looks like water should!”

Now that the school community has experienced the benefits of safe, filtered water and completed the hygiene workshops, principal Jesús Ramírez Montes and the Parent’s Association agreed to set up a fund to replace the Sawyer filters when they reach the end of their useful life. Throughout the rest of the Lazos de Agua program Living Water will continue to visit San Juan Tejupa and its primary school to continue supporting the excellent results achieved so far and learn how to replicate them in other communities.

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