Projects -> Protection of Nature -> Project Description (PDF)
Actual Project  

Várzea do Poço, Bahia - Brazil

Field or sector:

Clean drinking water to avoid sickness

Project Title:

Water Tanks and cisterns for Families

Background and reason for the project:

Through this project, we want to build cisterns to reach some low income families in the city of Várzea do Poço/BA, which is located in a semi-arid region, a place where, with every year that passes, the annual rains decrease more and, as a result, there is no fresh water. The water provided for daily consumption to the families is salty. This water causes illnesses such as diarrhea, nausea and kidney problems. In winter it often rains, but gentle rains useful for planting provide little water for the dams, small streams and cisterns.

The municipality has an area of 204,914 Km² with a population of 9,000 inhabitants. In the urban portion of the area, the population is 7,200 inhabitants.  The rural area has 1,800 inhabitants. Currently the people under consideration in the rural area have cisterns that are used 100% on a daily basis for consumption and production. These cisterns are from Brazilian Caritas and the federal government.

The municipality does not have any factories or companies to offer jobs to the workers. The City Hall has the greatest number of jobs to offer and many families live on the so-called ‘Bolsa Família’ which is gradually being phased out by the current Brazilian government. The average number of children per family is four but there are also many retirees.

In this year of 2017, we are intensifying our reflections and actions with the whole community during our Fraternity Campaign that has as its theme: "BRAZILIAN BIOMAS AND THE DEFENSE OF LIFE." This campaign leads us to a greater awareness about the care of the environment and, with this project, helps us to raise awareness of the need for care of and consumption of water in families. We wish to raise awareness among children so that they may grow more responsible in learning how to deal with drought by seeking to develop other alternatives by which to live in this semi-arid land. 

Another aspect that we cannot neglect is the containers of water meant for human consumption that are found in the back yards of the houses.   Here we wish to stop the problem of inviting mosquitos that transmit dengue, zika and chikungunya.   Therefore, we feel the need to form teams that help to raise awareness of basic sanitation and cleaning of festival sites.  We wish to partner with public agencies to provide favorable dumps for depositing leftovers.  We also wish to guide consumers to use reusable baskets and bags to load food, thus avoiding plastic bags.

We are also forming an adult group in the parish community with the name "Seeds of the Caatinga" (Northeast Biome).  This group will take care of garbage, deforestation, watering, rivers and the planting of trees. In the neighborhood, a group of women has already started a town square, "Praça da Amizade," by planting flowers and trees, but the group needs financial help to map out and structure this square.
This year we are working within a network of communities,  Parish and the Fraternity Campaign of 2017, (FRATERNIDADE: Brazilian Biomes and Defense of Life), where we will continue with the planting of fruit trees and other foods for the upcoming years and also have the possibility of community gardens (Cultivating and Saving Creation)

Project Goals:

To provide clean water for daily personal consumption so that the people may have quality of life
and safe health care


Guiding families in water consumption and care to help reduce health problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and verminosis, especially among children and the elderly.

Guiding the families in their hygiene of their environments in order to avoid mosquitos (aedes aegypti, chikungunya and others).

Accompanying initiatives to improve environmental care in the neighborhoods and encouraging the preservation of the Caatinga biome, a typical vegetation of the northeast.  This will be accomplished through activities to raise awareness among young adults. 
Plan of Action:

Make contact with families in order to prepare the land.

Forward the material for the construction of cisterns.

Identify masons and helpers who will build two cisterns per week.

Hold periodic meetings with the families involved with the project.

Conduct three workshops with children in catechesis and in schools to help raise awareness of the importance of caring for water care and recycling of waste, thus taking care of the health of the population.

Present dramas in the theaters by children using the theme: Cisterns for those who are thirsty in the families or in the communities.

Give each family a tree seedling of a preferential fruit to plant and care for.
Take a group of children to the place where a cistern is being built so that the children may learn about the process of construction..

Twenty-two families in the area.  However, additional requests continue to arrive.


R$ 25.900,00 or €6.900,– for building materials and labor for 22 cisterns and program expenses.

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