Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Harvesting Rain as a Method of Resilience

Project #
College of the Atlantic
  • Adrian Fernandez Jauregui

Harvesting Rain as a Method of Resilience

The indigenous people of the Guarani communities of Alto Parapeti Capitania, Bolivia only recently emerged from near slavery and are working hard to build their own communities. Among the many challenges they face are rainy seasons that bring mass flooding followed by long periods of serious drought. Adrian Fernandez sought to help address this problem by using his Davis Project for Peace grant to construct a rainwater-harvesting system in the community of Itacuatia. Working with volunteers, community representatives, and some paid laborers, Adrian designed and built a 45,000-liter ferro-cement water tank that gathers over 45,000 gallons of rainwater each year to be used for basic needs of drinking, cooking, and sanitation for 200 children in the local school and some of the nearby community. The water-tank technology is designed to last for more than a decade, providing stability and confidence in safe water collection.

Adrian learned valuable community-development lessons through his project, and wrote, “Patience and bargaining skills served me well from the first day until the end of the project.”  He learned that designing a project from afar is sometimes vastly easier than implementing the project on the ground, and that the role of an “outsider” in a community can be complex. Still, the project succeeded. Clean water will be available during the next dry season, and the community has a model for building additional water tanks.