Curingue, Ecuador Project Background Information
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Public Health and Education Lead
Responsible Engineer In Charge
Community Development Mentor
Photos From Past Trips:
All files related to the Curingue project are stored on our Google Drive
The community of Curingue is located only a few miles from our project in Tingo Pucará. For more information about the Tingo project use the following links:
Key Project Partners
Curingue Community President
Curingue Water Committee President
Speaks: Spanish, Kichwa
Angel is our main point of contact in the Curingue community. He will be the final authority in making decisions as they relate to our project.
Professor at University of San Francisco at Quito
Speaks: Spanish, English
Fernando works on development and research projects in several mountain communities and makes regular visits to Tingo and Curingue. He advises a team of public health students that are doing work in Curingue and can help with technical resources.
Tingo Pucará Water Committee President
Speaks: Spanish, Kichwa
Cesar is our main point of contact in the Tingo community. He will be responsible for coordinating efforts of the Tingo community members in supporting the project in Curingue.
Professor at Escuela Politecnica Nacional
Speaks: Spanish, English
Lorena is a professor of Technology in Water and Sanitation at Escuela Politécnica Nacional. She is supporting our team in submitting the Environmental Impact Assessment required by the Ecuadorean government, and will be working with our health education team.
Speaks: Spanish, English
Raul lives in Cumbaya and serves as a liaison to Curingue, and is our main translator and driver when we are in Ecuador. He is also our primary liaison for contact with the administration of Pujilí.
Mayor of Pujilí
Fernando is the current mayor of Pujilí. We are in the process of negotiating with him to secure funding that is available from the Ecuadorian government for development projects. We are hopeful that he will be the primary funder of the project.
Community Demographics and Conditions
The Community of Curingue was formed in 1990. It now has 210 inhabitants ranging in age from infant to 70 years old. Most residents are subsistence farmers. The monthly income does not meet the needs of the average family. A head of household earning minimum wage earns $340/month to support a 5-person household.
Curingue has never had a drinking water system, which means that women and children must walk at least 2 hours to the nearest drinking water source to collect the small amount of water they are capable of carrying back to the home for cooking. The water source is a spring located about 250 meters below the community. Since 2004, the community has had electricity and cellular telephones. They do not have lines for home telephone service. They do not have latrines and we worry about the health situation of all inhabitants. The nearest health unit is a 40-minute walk (for a healthy person) from the community through sun, rain, wind, and variable terrain. The nearest health center and elementary school are in the parish capital, the town of Guangaje, where there is also a Sunday open-air market.
Community Needs (As Defined By the Curingue Water Committee)
“Despite the fact that we would like better living and educational conditions, we do not even have the resources to satisfy our basic needs. The development program that we propose includes various projects like potable water in every home, latrines, better access to health care, and improved farm and livestock production. This program is necessary because without water there is not good health or hygiene, but rather sickness and death. The first project we have to develop is a potable water system for our people. We also need water to irrigate our crops and raise our livestock.”
Project #1 Summary: Water Supply
The first project that will be implemented as a part of the program in Curingue is a potable water supply system. The overall design of the system will consist of the following:
Project History and Milestone (Project #1: Water Supply)
February-March 2014: The documents needed to start a new project were submitted to EWB in February 2014. These include the 501, the community’s application to become a project (completed by the Curingue water committee), and the 502, EWB-PPC’s application to take on an existing project. The 501 was approved in February and the 502 in March.
August 2014: A team of 7, along with Dr. Budny, traveled to Curingue for the initial site assessment. Among the objectives completed on this assessment were: a full topographical survey of the community, source, and proposed pipeline, a health assessment and water use survey of all current households, water quality and quantity testing, soils testing of the proposed pump house location, evaluation of electrical resources, and the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement. The team also met with the Mayor of Pujilí, Fernando Matute, to discuss funding opportunities. The mayor was receptive to our plans and requested a design concept overview and preliminary budget by the end of the year.
Data and Findings:
March 2015: A team of 8 traveled to Curingue for the second site assessment. Before arriving in Curingue, the team met with several vendors in Quito. SEI agreed to build and install the control panel for the pump. Acero confirmed that there is a single-phase motor available for the pump that the team had identified as being suitable for the project. The team met with representatives from Mayor Matute’s office and some engineers who work for the government. They indicated they are on board to fund the project, and will need final designs and a final quantity takeoff by the end of April. Additional assessment work was completed in the community, including detailed surveying of the intake and pump house locations, the pipeline route to the storage tank, and the storage tank location. Additional soil capacity and water flow tests were also conducted. Angel has begun planning a fee collection system with the Water Committee and has been communicating with the electrical utility representative from the provincial authority.
July 2015: The first 525 (pre-implementation report) was submitted to EWB-USA, which was reviewed by the SETAC (Southeast Technical Advisory Committee) on August 4, 2015. Ultimately, the TAC concluded that the structural designs could be approved as-is and the chapter could move forward with construction on those. However, more detail would be needed regarding the electrical and mechanical designs, including verification that the steel pipe available in Ecuador would be rated for the high pressures in the system. Ultimately, the team decided to pursue a redesign of the system to incorporate two pump stations, which would be resubmitted as a new 525.
December 2015: The updated 525 reflecting the new two-pump design was submitted, and was reviewed by the NETAC on January 14, 2016. Ultimately, the TAC approved the full design with conditions. Several aspects of the design were highlighted by the TAC members, which the EWB team needed to address before obtaining final approval. After submitting the responses to those concerns, our team received technical approval to proceed with construction of the designs submitted, which include the intakes, pump houses, storage tank, and finished water line connecting those structures.
October 2016: A team of 7, along with 5 students from the University of Pittsburgh, traveled to Curingue to begin implementation of the system. Over the course of this trip, the following construction goals were accomplished:
In addition to the construction, meetings were held with two important project partners: the municipality of Pujili and the electrical utility company in Latacunga. The meeting with the mayor and his engineering staff was successful, and a formal agreement was signed stating that the municipality will provide $80,000 toward the cost of materials and equipment for the project. The meeting with the electrical company was also a success, and engineers from the company visited the project site and confirmed the feasibility of extending the electrical lines to the locations needed for the project.