Draft EWB proposal for August Pine Ridge Community Improvement Project

Submitted by patcoyle on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 15:26

from Pat Coyle

to David Youmans ,
James Cheng ,
Osmany Salas ,
Natalio Soliz ,
Ruth White ,
Mary Ann Studer ,
Jason Priebe ,
Ernie Leporini ,
Gina Earles ,
Meg VanSciver ,
date Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 12:22 PM

subject updated draft August Pine Ridge, Belize EWB application
mailed-by coyles.com

hide details Mar 22 (3 days ago)



Attached is an updated draft August Pine Ridge, Belize EWB application for a Community Improvement Program.

I filled in details on medical facilities, distances to the water tower and well, and cleaned up a few items. I want to get this updated version out for comments.

Let me know if you see how it could be improved. I want to put together the best application we can.

Is there a sense whether it is preferable that it be submitted by Belize Open Source as the NGO, or directly by the August Pine Ridge Village Council?

Dave and James have indicated the SFP chapter is currently pretty loaded with work so, unless things change, they are not likely to propose it or seek it as a project.

In the case of Sacramento, my contacts for their Belize project are out of date. I spoke with Jennifer Wheelis, President of Sacramento Valley Professional chapter, but don't yet have her email or their current Belize Project Manager contact information.

Meg, James Cheng suggested I include you. I know you are super busy, but I wanted you and Gina Earles to at least see the first EWB proposal associated with the EWB-USA fiscal sponsorship and partnering with Belize Open Source, http://belizeopensource.org/.

Natalio Soliz said he plans to go over it with the August Pine Ridge Village Council after Easter.

I'll see some of you next week in Seattle at at EWB - USA International Conference, on Sustainable Engineering and Global Health.


prior email

Attached is an in-progress draft August Pine Ridge, Belize EWB application for a Community Improvement Program.

I still have some details to fill in, but I wanted to get it out for feedback early.

Please let me know how you think it could be improved. I have no pride of authorship. I only want to put together the best application we can.

Is there a sense whether it should be submitted by Belize Open Source as the NGO, or directly by the August Pine Ridge Village Council.

James and Paul, if you want to consider this as a chapter project for SFP or Sacramento please let me know.

Note that I have included an excerpt from correspondence from Edilberto Romero, Executive Director, Programme for Belize. Eddie is from August Pine Ridge and I think his comments help provide a broader context in which to consider this program proposal and future work in the community.

Based on your feedback, we can firm it up and then be sure the August Pine Ridge community makes any changes they need to be comfortable with it.


prior email

Thanks for the amazingly fast response.

This is great feedback. I'll try to incorporate your suggestions and draft an EWB application for the needs you think are the best fit.

I'll get these to you and the group for further feedback and we can see what makes sense to move forward with. At that time, perhaps we can see if EWB-SFP is interested or whether these should go in without chapter affiliation.

I've copied Jason Priebe, Paul Glanville and Ernie Leporini, for potential interest since Paul and I had talked and we had prior email exchanges about the Belize liaison role and the Sacramento chapter's EWB Belize project for a waste water treatment system for the Placencia Peninsula.

I've also copied Gina Earles who was so helpful in arranging for the EWB-USA fiscal sponsorship for Belize Open Source.

Gina, here is preliminary information on community needs that might lead to the first identified projects that fit EWB.

Thanks again,

Pat Coyle


1371 Calais Ave
Livermore CA 94550
(h) 925 606-9646
(c) 925 784-3682

At 11:23 PM -0700 3/16/08, David Youmans wrote:
Hello Pat,

I've just had a chance to read through your email below and the information you sent earlier this week. Quite a lot of information there. It sounds like there is a great deal of opportunity for both community development projects in the August Pine Ridge area as well as educational training and demonstration of sustainable technologies/methods on the Open Source property.

Regarding working with EWB, I think a number of the projects you list below would be very applicable to EWB's skills and capacity. First, a few notes on EWB, its capacity and its projects:
• EWB typically partners with both a host community and a partner NGO in the country. In this case, the August Pine Ridge community and the Belize Open Source project would fill those rolls respectively. For the projects in the community, the EWB model makes a lot of sense. However, projects on the Belize open source property for educational development or technology demonstration are a change from the usual EWB project. That said, I think they are valuable projects and seeing EWB's large focus on education, especially engineering education, I can see some of those projects also being a good fit for EWB. I have not looked at the EWB project application in a while, but submitting an application for these projects might not fit as well into the application form. EWB is a very forward looking organization and I believe that a project with merit would get accepted even if it was not infrastructure directly installed in a village.
• EWB focuses on design, infrastructure and training in collaboration with communities. Projects that only really need funding from EWB are not applicable to our process. For instance, the computer lab project would not be a very good fit and would be a better fit for an organization that funds Digital Divide projects.
• While EWB does health monitoring on it's projects, hygiene and sanitation training is better done by organizations in the host country. These organizations have more experience with this type of training, speak the language and can spend the time necessary in the community to influence behavior change on items such as sanitation and hygiene.
• Though EWB does some work with agriculture, local agriculture organizations would probably be more suitable. I don't know of any EWB projects working on aquaculture. (however, as the project develops, there may be a role for EWB doing agriculture)
• I don't know what EWB's policy is on infrastructure for the purpose of tourism is, but I can imagine it is a lower priority that basic poverty alleviation.

With those points out there, the projects from your list below that I think are the most applicable for EWB involvement are:

• Automatic pumping for the well
• Solar water heating
• Testing and improvement of local water supply
• Hurricane shelter
• Community center

Pat, I believe you are familiar with the EWB process, but I will reiterate here for those unfamiliar. The next step would be to put in an application describing these sub-projects and submitting them to EWB. The necessary details are laid out in the application. If the project is accepted, it will be applied for by various EWB chapters and assigned to one that fits the project based on their skill set and capacity. The next step after a chapter receives the project is a site assessment trip. During this trip the EWB team would work with the community to prioritize the village's needs and set a course for the most important projects working to scale the projects appropriately to ensure their sustainability in the community.

Please let me know if there were any specific questions you had that I've left unanswered or any other input I can provide. This looks like a very exciting project with much potential over the near and long term.

Best regards,

Dave Youmans
President Ex-officio
EWB-USA San Francisco Professionals Chapter

From: Pat Coyle [mailto:pat@coyles.com]
Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:33 PM
To: David Youmans
Cc: Osmany Salas; Natalio Soliz; kvoth@livestockforlandscapes.com; Ruth White; Mary Ann Studer
Subject: pls comment on possible Belize EWB projects

This is a rough first cut. I have listed specific needs from discussions with the August Pine Ridge Village Council and Water Board that might be appropriate for EWB project applications.

Per our emails, I'd appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. Based on that I can I can draft applications that incorporate these needs. I can then have Natalio Soliz review the applications with the August Pine Ridge Village Council and Water Board.

I'm copying Belize Open Source board members Kathy Voth and Ruth White; Mary Ann Studer, Defiance College, who is planning assessments of August Pine Ridge community needs and the Belize Open Source property, and Osmany Salas who is working with on stakeholder collaborations.

In addition, there are Shipyard poultry packing plant operations that are proposing biogas for alternate processing of waste streams and chicken manure that might need EWB support.

The Mufles Junior College is looking at a new science laboratory project that might be of interest to EWB.

Thanks again,


The following are ideas for August Pine Ridge Village, Belize, community needs that might lend themselves to EWB or other organization project proposals.

>From August Pine Ridge Water Board Discussion, 2/28/08: Participants included water board members: David Sanchez, Roberto Coye, Jose Mancias, Mr. Briceno; Natalio Soliz, and Pat Coyle from Belize Open Source.

They were interested in assistance to:
• Provide a visual level indicator to improve manual pumping and avoid the danger of their current practice of climbing the ladder to the top of the elevated tank to visually check the level
• Automate the pumping from the well to the distant (TBD feet away) elevated tank which then gravity feeds the water (TBD distance) to the village. Presently they travel TBD distance from the village to the well two times per day to manually pump water to the tank. Typically they pump about 8 hours per day, the electricity bills run $500 - 600 per month. There are issues with manual pumping. Sometimes they run out of water for the village or alternatively, overfill the tank, wasting water and electricity while pumping excessively. Their elevated tank is estimated to be ~10, 000 gal capacity (check this).

Mr. Martens, from Shipyard, drilled their well. CIF (TBD check) funded the project initially.

On 2/9/08, Pat Coyle noted other possible projects to be evaluated in initial assessment visit.

• Wind or solar for pumping: How big is the load, the pump motor size? Need better information on the circuit breaker size, electrical diagram, and physical layout and arrangement
• Solar water heating, small batch heaters to offset butane heating for household uses
• Evaluate health issues due to water handling and use to be addressed with education
• Test the numerous village backyard wells that are still being used for some household purposes. Many are in close proximity to latrines.

Follow up with the driller Mr. Martens in Shipyard on the details of the drilled well.

Check with David Sanchez on the pump. Take photos and get pump specification information.

Later in the day I met Roberto Coye and went with him to look at the pump house and well and took photos that I can provide.

The well house is approximately 12 ft. by 12 ft. outside. There's a ~27' square fenced yard around it which contains the well and the pump house.
He'd been up to the well to turn it off. He'd started pumping around 7:00 in the morning and it was about 3:45 in the afternoon when I met him.

On February 29, 2008 we met with members of the August Pine Ridge Village Council. Participants included: Chairman, Julio Magana, Hugo Romero, Arcadio Torres, Javier Soliz, Faustino Tuz. Natalio Soliz and Pat Coyle spoke with them about Belize Open Source and the plans for the property. We also spoke about our intention to work with the community to identify needs that might benefit from help from EWB or other organizations.

After the discussion of needs summarized below, the Chairman, Julio Magana said it was the first chance they had ever had to talk with someone who might be able to help find resources to address the problems and needs they see in their community.

They have about 978 voters in the community of August Pine Ridge, more than 3000 people. It is the second largest village in the Orange Walk District. Orange Walk Town is designated as a city.

The chairman indicated that they have a number of needs throughout the community but lack resources to address them, so they have to see what kind of funding is available.
• One initiative they are pursuing is working with the school to make dustbins and locations where trash can be burned, to reduce the litter level and keep the community cleaner.
• Natalio Solis suggested when they have a board meeting they could look at the community needs and prioritize the list. If the community agrees, we could see which of these lend themselves to proposals that we could work on together to submit to try and find help to address them.
• A key need that they think is important is their water supply. It is very hard, so they have questions about whether it could be treated to make it more useful. Currently, people don't like to drink it or cook with it. So its use is limited. This means that people purchase bottled water, use rainwater from roof collection, or from shallow wells within the village for a number of these household uses.
• For education, there is a need for computer and Internet training and access for students and other community members. They are considering a community computer center or computer lab. This is a natural function to try and combine in a multi-purpose community center (see discussion below).
• Hurricane shelter is another need. At present, there's not enough reinforced building capacity to accommodate all the people in the village in the event of a hurricane. They currently use the school and clinic as well as some private buildings like Natalio Soliz's store.
• A multi-purpose community center could provide hurricane shelter space and be a replacement for their defunct community building. It would supplement and add to the school, clinic, and other buildings that are currently used for hurricane shelter space.
• Such a center would need restroom facilities. It could be combined with the computer lab previously mentioned, provide space for the village council and water board offices, and other community functions such a conference and meeting space, training center, market space, local artisan products and crafts outlet, and other functions to be defined.
• Natalio Soliz indicated there are talented students who could help with keeping a computer laboratory or learning center operating and that this could provide opportunities for training and employment.
• It will be important to do a survey of the existing buildings to assess and evaluate the existing shelter capacity and properly size such a facility.
• There is a need for solid waste disposal alternatives, a dumpsite and an educational program for the community to encourage them to use such alternatives and a dumpsite. Currently, solid waste is a real problem. People just dump it everywhere haphazardly, often on private property, creating an unsightly trash problem and potential groundwater pollution problems. An evaluation of the waste stream might identify opportunities for recycling, composting, small-scale cogeneration, as well as a traditional landfill dumpsite.
• There is a need for a bridge replacement. Without a bridge, a number of students and their families now have to travel a substantial distance. In some cases, the children miss school do to the distance. The replacement needs the capacity to carry vehicles as well as pedestrian traffic.
• They lack medicines and supplies at their clinic. While they have the clinic, since they lack medicines and supplies, even when they have doctors and nurses available, they are not able to be as effective as they could with adequate medicines and supplies. (Coyle advised this is explicitly something outside of EWB project application scope.)
• The school in the village needs a security fence with gates and lights to keep animals out and to secure the school from the threat of vandals and robbers. They've had problems with animal feces contamination, vandalism, and equipment being stolen.
• There is a need for speed bumps at several points along the roadway through the village to slow traffic for better protection for children in the community. Currently there is only one for traffic coming in from the direction of Orange Walk.
• The village council asked about the Belize Open Source property and its intended functions. Natalio Soliz explained that the planned demonstration projects and other activities could provide work for local villagers and successful projects that people could use to increase their household income. Household level fish farming, improved vegetable gardens, and sheep or goats are examples.
• The chairman commented regarding fish, that at a recent meeting of the Council of Village Councils, there was discussion of the European Union study of diversification opportunities and one of the possibilities they talked about was fish farming.
• The chairman also noted that for tourism, one of the possibilities is local artisan products and local crafts, both of which could provide an opportunity for employment. The multi-purpose building market might serve as an outlet for them.