PTC Rotary Club helps Guatemalans get access to water

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People will often tell you, “It’s all about who you know.” Thanks to the Rotary Club of Peachtree City and Club Rotario Guatemala Vista Hermosa, the residents of Guanagazapa, Guatemala can attest to that.

Rosemary Norris was in Bible Study one day at Peachtree City United Methodist Church and heard from the leader of the group about a village in Guatemala that had been without access to clean water since mudslides from Tropical Storm Agatha buried the spring, the local source for water. The group wondered if the local Rotary Club could help and though Rosemary isn’t a member, her husband, Joel is the president. In addition, Scott Rowland, a member on the board of directors in charge of membership, had spent time in Guatemala as part of the Peace Corps.

The Rotary Club of Peachtree City started the process of trying to help Guanagazapa last August. One thing that made this project possible was the fact that the community had a water distribution system in place consisting of pipelines and tanks situated on municipal land. The project consists of drilling a well and providing a pump for distribution.

Since the tropical storm destroyed the old water system, the residents of the community have been getting their water from ponds, streams or the river and the water quality and quantity from those sources is very poor and the citizens have been getting ill.

Work on the well is expected to start next week and in addition to the system, the local citizens will receive some education on the correct use of water and the correct way to dispose of used water.

While the two Rotary Clubs have been very active with the project, there has also been some assistance from Centro Cristiano Cultural de Guatemala (CCCG) and Comite’ Communitaro de Desarrollo de Las Flores (COCODE). CCCG has been working in the area for years, specifically with children in social development and will be responsible for the maintenance and management of the project. COCODE will insure the community is properly trained in safe water practices. The Rotary Club of Peachtree City will provide support to the host club and maintain contact with the training institutions.

Rotary Clubs all over the world are focused on changing the world through a commitment to “Service Above Self.” Whether at home or abroad, the Rotary Club supports education and job training, providing clean water, combating hunger, improving health and sanitation and eradicating polio. For more information on the Rotary Club, visit www.rotary.org.