In 2018, Project Nicaragua at Ohio State began initial discussions regarding the need for robust water filtration systems in Rancho Grande, Nicaragua. After meeting with a Project Nicaragua alum who also conduced Peace Corps work in Nicaragua, it was determined that such a project may represent an important step in improving the health of the community.
Previously conducted surveys indicated that much of Rancho Grande’s potable water was untreated, and that waterborne illnesses were both widespread and problematic within the community. Other surveys indicated that water was mainly sourced from the local river.
In the winter of 2019, water testing kits were brought to Rancho Grande to assess the validity of these concerns. Three common water sources (the local feeding center, the school, and the river itself) were tested for the presence of E. coli. While these initial tests indicated that our concerns may be justified, further testing is still required to fully understand the overall water quality in Rancho Grande.
Moving forward, our Research & Development team hopes to continue collecting water quality data and to further consider the efficacy of ceramic and charcoal water filter interventions. Additionally, we hope to begin collecting more explicit wellness surveys regarding the impact of waterborne diseases in the Rancho Grande community.