EWB-S&T hopes to design and implement erosion control solutions within the next year. Concurrently, the team is working on designing a water storage tank and distribution system.

Team Lead: Ashley Longrie (allnq6@mst.edu)

“I joined EWB with this idea that I could help people, that due to my actions someone out there in the world was going to be better off. This organization has taught me that making a difference in someone’s life is less what I may personally bring to the table and more the way I empower someone to change their own life.”

Background Information

Erquiz Oropeza is a community in the San Lorenzo municipality of Tarija, located in the mountains of southern Bolivia. It currently is home to about 350 people consisting of around 50 households. The community is currently without a potable water source, electricity, or wastewater services and is experiencing extreme erosion issues.

For the families of Erquiz Oropeza, many of them receive water from the San Lorenzo Municipality which brings in free water two times a week, on Monday and Friday. The water is placed in old asphalt barrels and is left to sit outside. Within a few days the water in the barrels turn yellow and the community told EWB-S&T that they believe the water causes a variety of health issues including hepatitis, diarrhea, and infections. This water is usually supplemented by rain, river and lagoon water which is often used for washing and bathing. Those families that are financially able also buy water from the nearby city to drink. Based on data collected by the team in May 2017, the community uses an estimated 1.4 gallons per person per day. There is no electricity in the community and children are forced to do their homework by candlelight.

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