You are currently browsing the Engineers Without Borders at Boston University blog archives for the day Tuesday, July 7th, 2009.



Day 10

By elissam

This morning we split up to collect water samples from the sources that serve Chirimoto and the neighboring town of Vista Alegre, Lambras and Yacuñao respectively. Two of the four piping systems that currently bring water into Chirimoto take water from Lambras (the Foncores and Parochial systems). Foncores also built the system in Vista Alegre. The fourth system is piped from another source called Mari Pata; this is the antique system that includes the old filter, sanitation tank, and reservoirs. We are hoping to return in December to clean all of the tanks and refill the filter as a temporary source of clean water and as a model for the other filters that will be built at Lambras and Yacuñao.  I was on the hike up to Lambras with Charlie. The water is collected near the source, but is not piped down the entire distance to the town. From the collection, the water follows an open channel down to the reservoir about halfway down the mountain. We had originally wanted to survey the paths up to both sources to get the elevations of the sources as well as any reservoirs or tanks in the path of the pipeline, but the paths were too dense to be surveyed. Much of the trail up to Lambras was completely overgrown and even after our guide cleared it, we could not see more than 10 feet in front of us in some places. 

In the afternoon we started the water tests for the samples we had just collected at Lambras and Yacuñao. When it got too dark to continue we packed up the equipment; there is no light in the room we have converted into our lab, so we only have until around 6:00 to work on the water tests each day. 

After dinner Jeremy and I talked with the town medic, Martin. We brought surveys with us for the doctors, teachers, and townspeople of Chirimoto and its neighboring towns. Martin had a lot of information for us; it seems like the majority of the people in Chirimoto are healthy. There are very few illnesses, and many people live well into their 80s. Martin said that almost all of the townspeople have had to be treated for parasites. They receive this treatment from a doctor in Mendoza, who also brings vaccines and other medications every year. He also said that diet and cholesterol were a big concern, as much of the diet includes a lot of fried food and pork.