Provision of an irrigation water supply system to
Bellamaria, Chaquizhca and Guara communities
Calvas - Loja
In partnership with the Rotary Noon Club of Athens and other clubs of district6690, Ohio University, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and the Municipal Government of Calvas, the Rotary Club of Loja aims to implement an irrigation water supply system in three rural communities (Bellamaria,Chaquizhca, and Guara) of Calvas county, in Loja province, southern Ecuador. This project will benefit 75 subsistence farming families’ households who live under precarious conditions and struggle to maintain a yearly agricultural production due to a dry seasonal climate of the area.
The socioeconomic challenges these communities face are malnutrition, limited access to health services, inadequate housing infrastructure, low-quality educational services, food insecurity, and a lack of employment opportunities. All these factors contribute to the high rates of poverty and disease; in fact, some families survive on less than two dollars a day.
Loja has a high prevalence of chronic malnutrition, where children are the most affected. It is estimated that about 31.6% of Lojans suffer from some type of malnutrition and/or chronic degenerative diseases. Previous studies have shown that households in the region tend to compromise food access as one of the first responses when they experience economic stress.
Over the last three years, we have worked with the communities of Bellamaria, Chaquizcha, and Guara in Loja province, Ecuador, to implement household productive gardens. However, the lack of water for irrigation purposes has limited the success of the project and only 18 of the 75 gardens planned are successfully growing and producing. This is due to unreliable water supply during the dry season. Some families have even used their drinking water for the gardens, which is not sustainable and causes a shortage of water for human consumption. Furthermore, the inability to successfully produce nutritious food through their gardens increases preexisting rates of malnutrition.
The implementation of a proper water irrigation system is necessary to ensure the success of the productive gardens. Thus, we are seeking funding to implement an irrigation water supply system in Bellamaría, Chaquizcha, and Guara. The project’s overall goal is to bolster agricultural activities in the area to provide a sustainable income source for the families living in these communities. Furthermore, the food security, nutritional status of the rural families, and the development of networks or associations between families of the same community or adjacent communities through sharing goods would also be promoted through the improvement of the agricultural system, therefore through implementing a successful irrigation water supply system.
Therefore, this project will enhance the well-being of all members of the communities.
Additionally, the project intends to promote women’s empowerment, considering that women are mainly the ones that manage the productive gardens and sales in the market. The reinforcement of women’s participation in their community will enable women to contribute with income generation to their families from a place right next to their houses. This contribution has been proven that improve their self-esteem and self-appreciation.
Project development and sustainability
All members of the communities are committed to maintaining the irrigation system. They will continuously supervise its operation and ensure its correct use and operation. To ensure the irrigation water system’s sustainability. Each family will pay a $5 monthly fee, that will cover the cost of an operator and supplies.
Water usage will be metered and a surcharge will be applied for use exceeding the monthly allocation.
Get information about this project's timeline and budget here