Purchasing materials for the Secoya community of San Pablo

Weeks after the completion of 51 systems in the Cofán community of Dureno, The ClearWater project is now continuing with efforts to bring clean water to the remaining communities affected by oil contamination in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon. San Pablo de Catëtsiaya is the largest community of the Secoya nationality of Ecuador and the next community to lead this project. In the next few weeks, 17 Secoya beneficiary families will be receiving their own rainwater catchment units – that process is already underway. This past week, Emergildo (the project coordinator) and Armando (Secoya coordinator) traveled to multiple cities to purchase tools and materials needed for the construction of these units. Watch this video below to learn more about this process:
Depending on the quantity of materials needed, the purchasing of materials generally takes a minimum of a week. Finding the right tools and the right materials can be challenging at times, since many of the components of the rainwater catchment units are specialized items. For example, the “Plocher Quartz”, a filtering material for the units is exclusively available from a specialized German vendor in Ecuador. Many other components are subject to availability and weather conditions: this is the case of wood and the fine sand used in the construction of every unit. First able, logging is rightfully monitored by the Ecuadorian ministry of the environment, and can only be extracted at certain times and in certain quantities. This is why we had to purchase this material in small increments. Secondly, the delivery of fine sand can also be complicated by rainy conditions. It is important to note that this filtering material can only be loaded and delivered dry. Yet, most of the tools and materials are easy to get. Tools for example were purchased in the city of Lago Agrio. Two weeks ago, Emergildo and the technicians met at the hardware store to buy several tools including shovels, power drills, nails, and saws. The exotic woods including chuncho and manzano were purchased in the city of Coca. The largest components, the tanks came from the city of Ambato, a whole day ride away from Lago Agrio. Finally, the quartz, plastic tubing, wood oil and roofing materials came from nation’s capital of Quito. The purchasing and delivering of materials takes a lot of coordination and thus depends on the participation of a number of people: coordinators, technicians, and drivers amongst others. Emergildo and Armando made sure that all items were purchased in time and safely delivered. At the moment, they are both coordinating the implementation of 17 systems in San Pablo. Almost all materials have been gathered and 5 units are already under construction.