By Maggie Farrand
In a small community in Georgia, 30 miles from the capital city, Tbilisi, a series of natural disasters in recent years had devastated their access to clean, safe water. Heavy rains, flooding and erosion left the residents’ water collectors operating at 40 percent of their capacity, and their water reservoir had begun to corrode and leak. Families – mostly women and children – were forced to hike long hours to the nearest spring for drinkable water.
Last summer, Counterpart International responded to the needs of the Galavani community and their struggle to collect enough water for its 400 residents. Through a $12,000 grant from the Department of State, Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (EUR/ACE), Counterpart was able to purchase and install a new 25-metric ton capacity water reservoir with a distribution tank and valves. Furthermore, 1,850 meters of rusted pipes were replaced with new ones. With over $17,000 in funding provided by LDS Charities, fences were installed, over 6,600 meters of rusted distribution pipes were replaced with new PVC pipes and the new reservoir was covered with a thermal insulator.
The rehabilitation of the water supply system re-established access to clean and safe potable water for all residents in Galavani. Now, they not only use the water for drinking and cooking, but also to irrigate their vegetable gardens throughout the summer.
Throughout the Former Soviet Union, Counterpart is aware of the power of water – the severe effects of unsafe drinking water, and the positive changes a water pump or a well can have on a community. Whether it’s replacing corroded pipes in Georgia, or installing deep water wells in Kyrgyzstan, we value people’s access to clean water.
Each year, Counterpart implements 20 Small Reconstruction Projects through the Department of State EUR/ACE – small-scale infrastructure rehabilitations that help targeted populations, including orphans, elderly, hospital or clinic patients and school children.