Jackie Powell in Nicaragua
Jackie Powell '09 had an internship with the Environmental Department of the Mayor's Office of Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua, a suburb of the capitol city Managua.
Prior to arriving in Nicaragua, her supervisor, had written, but not submitted, a grant proposal for an absorption tank project. Jackie was able to write a grant proposal and was awarded $1000 for the project.
In the community of Oro Verde, there was the problem of grey water runoff into the dirt roads from individual family sinks. This runoff ran down hill and not only ran into ground water and nearby bodies of water but also created cracks in the streets. These cracks fill with dirty water and then become locations for mosquitoes and flies to breed, carrying diseases that tend to affect the most venerable of the population, children and the elderly.
The project was two fold. Education was key. Jackie, together with community activist, Dona Luisa (right), and Jazmina (above left) worked together to facilitate discussions with community members in three ways: conducting surveys, one-on-one visits, and a community reunion and information session. During these discussions the proposed solution of an absorption tank was also explained.
The grant funds went towards purchasing materials for 30 families to construct absorption tanks. All the labor of constructing the absorption tanks was volunteered by the families themselves.