​Ecuador
Malingua Pamba & watershed area Background: Engineers Without Borders (EWB) – Denver Chapter began their commitment to help with water projects in June, 2006. In 3 years & 6 trips later, the expertise of EWB along with the mingas (volunteer labor) for which the Quechua are famous, Potable water was brought to ~90%. July, 2009: First EWB Team to start work on Irrigation. As these people are agrarian, this should significantly impact their standard of living.



Summary from EWB First Irrigation Team, July 2009

Kevin Greer, lead; Laura Backus, Teby & Diana Herrero, Tracy Owen, and Brett Pirie In July 2009, the Denver Chapter of Engineers without Borders (EWB) sent a group of members to Malingua Pamba, Ecuador to assist the local people in constructing a functional irrigation system. Over the previous year, EWB developed a design for the irrigation system improvements that could be implemented with the available money from the International Rotary Grant. This design included
construction of three 5,000 gallon water storage tanks, installation of 12 smaller 500 gallon water storage tanks, and installation of thousands of feet of pipeline. In addition, the existing portions of the irrigation system required repairs and upgrades to make them functional.
During the trip in July 2009, EWB was able to begin work on the irrigation system. All work was performed by the local people with help from EWB. While EWB was on site, two of the 5,000 gallon water storage tanks were constructed, about 1,000 feet of pipe was installed, and various repairs were made to the existing system.
Repairs included installation of valves, fixing breaks in the pipe, and rehabilitation of existing tanks.Through the work performed on this trip, we feel confident that with the right tools and supplies, and with help from EWB, the local people are capable of completing the remaining work within the scope of the first trip without direct observation by EWB. In addition to construction activities, there was also numerous discussions during the trip regarding water quality, equitable water distribution, and future system improvements. The local people understand that water is a limited resource and a system to distribute it fairly is necessary. They have
developed a “Water Board” to oversee the irrigation system, charge fees, assess fines, and distribute the water. They plan to develop a watering schedule for each user of the system. Use will likely be Ecuador Malingua Pamba & watershed area Background: Engineers Without Borders (EWB) – Denver Chapter began their commitment to help with water projects in June, 2006. In 3 years & 6 trips later, the expertise of EWB along with the mingas (volunteer labor) for which the Quechua are famous, Potable water was brought to ~90%. July, 2009: First EWB Team to start work on Irrigation. As these people are agrarian, this should significantly impact their standard of living. Site for irrigation tank #2 approximately four hours of irrigation per field three times per week. In addition, the irrigation water is not as clean as the potable water in the area and the people are aware that it should not be consumed. We saw a tremendous amount of work from the local people to develop this irrigation system. Each Minga was composed of people from all different areas including some that will not receive irrigation water as part of this phase. The people of Malingua Pamba and EWB continue to learn from each other to develop more productive methods or completing work. Future improvements will expand the system to more people within the local communities.

 


During the monitoring trip last year one young lady, a mother of 3, explained that she was frequently punished as a child.

Her punishment was to get up an hour before dawn and load the pack animals with empty water jugs for the 1-1/2 hour walk to the stream where her family fetches water and waters the livestock [Many families have few animals including some of these common typical animals:  cattle, burros, small horses, llamas, sheep, lambs). As she and the animals approached the stream, she would grab a big jug and run ahead of the animals so she could get clean water before the animals had the chance to muddy the waters. The whole round trip took her a little more than 3 hours.

Later when we were having a monitoring trip closing meeting with the few members of the water board who could attend, Paulino told his story to show his appreciation for the improvements to the old water system.

When Paulino was 8 years old he was helping his father and other community members repair a burst pipe. The original system donated by a French NGO had 5 reservoir tanks, no valves and due to the 1,800 meter descent from spring to lowest tank, high static pressure burst pipes if something plugged the line. He said people were afraid of the system because of the force if a fitting broke; he described jets of water reaching 80 meters high and a pipeline that spanned a 200-meter wide gulley (quebrada).  When a pipe burst, it would empty all the water stored above and severely erode gullies below the break. He said that they did not seem to have the materials,skill, tools and training to keep the system operational. But most discouraging  was the friction that was developing between the upper and lower communities. The pipeline breaks were so common that people in the lower valley did not want participate in the communal (minga) repair work because the system broke so frequently. Paulino says the system modifications reduced system pressures to more manageable levels - and it reduced the community stress as well.

Scot Litke
Executive Director
ADSC:The International Association of Foundation Drilling Dallas, Texas

Working in Rumicheca Spring

Check the latest pictures of the 2014 Engineers Without Borders on Guantogloma, Ecuador. Click in the image and hold your click, then move around your mouse to see the panorama picture!

This report focuses on the assessment of soil erosion problems in an Andean community in Ecuador and initial attempts to stabilize five sites affected by erosion.  The indigenous community, Malingua Pamba (population approximately 720), is situated about 115km south-southwest of Quito (Ecuador’s capital) and 30km west-northwest of Latacunga (the capital of Cotopaxi Province).  READ MORE

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​Documentary Photos from pam gilbert’s Oct. 09 Trip to Malingua Pamba, Ecuador
These photos are depicting the Extraordinary Efforts of the people of Tunguiche and Malingua Pamba to complete the Irrigation Design by the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) –Denver Chapter using the $25,000 International Rotary Matching Grant. Meeting with the Leaders of the Directiva for Irrigation:
They are showing their map indicating the location of all of the buried PVC , tank locations, etc. Also they have self-imposed an entry fee of $8/person. Monthly fees will be added (within 2 mos?) when people’s crops have brought to market. They now understand the need for a reserve fund so that they can maintain the system.
These very proud Quechua walked me from the source of the irrigation water (~13,000 ft) down to the lowest village, Tunguiche (~9,500 ft) to show me how they had what they had done after EWB left in mid- July. I’m not sure when they exactly finished, but clearly the irrigation water has been used in many areas.

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The Secretary speaking at the Thank you Ceremony. He is holding the pages showing the attendance at the 36 days of mingas (volunteer work) since EWB left in late July.

The people buried all of the pipe, built & poured 2- 5,000 tanks on incredibly steep slopes, poured at least one 500 gal tank using the EWB designed re-usable tank form, poured protection boxes around a multitude of taps, and did some antierosion planting.

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Here is pic from EWB in July ‘09. These people carried 20 tons of material done to the site of ‘Tanque Teby’. Eden Recor, Winter Park-Fraser Valley Rotarian was instrumental in getting materials delivered. This was Eden’s 3rd visit to Malingua Pamba, Ecuador.

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The Thank You Ceremony – in Tunguiche and Denver as they sent plaques & scarves.

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​​Centro Educativo La Minga, Inc. is a Non-Profit, tax deductible organization.

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Engineers Without Borders 2009