Members of the Puerramal and Miravalle communities along the northern Ecuadorian border participated in mingas (community work) to build water systems. They received support from the local government and WFP. In this part of Carchi, families’ livelihoods depend mainly on agriculture. In the photo, a child plays in what will soon be his school’s vegetable garden.
The highest provincial authority attended the ceremony marking the start of the use of the water systems. WFP and PepsiCo delegates also attended, considering that PepsiCo helped fund this initiative through WFP.
Lamas and rare frailejón plants are found alongside the road in the highlands of Carchi. If you want to reach Miravalle, it will involve a three-hour drive from the provincial capital, Tulcán, at 3,001 meters above sea level. Most of the road is unpaved, and its descent towards lower lands can be easily felt with the rising temperature. Very few organizations offer support to this isolated community.
In Puerramal, members of the community, with assistance from provincial authorities and WFP, built a water system to canalize and purify water. Men and women worked very hard. As an incentive, they received food rations and support from the local government. Today, the water system provides water for irrigation and for everyday life, including for meal preparation at the local school.
WFP’s integrated assistance for promoting food and nutrition security includes deworming, assets for clean water provision, training and the delivery of food rations to communities hosting both Colombians crossing the border in search of refuge and vulnerable Ecuadorian families. At this particular school, children form a line in front of this kitchen window to receive their meal. Parents help cook these meals with WFP rations and vegetables from local small producers.
Ofelia Bukants from the PepsiCo Social Responsibility Department for Latin America met with Miravalle community members who worked to build the water system. They commented on its positive impact on community life. Miravalle suffers from cyclic droughts, and the source of the water for the system is located high up in the mountain. Women did their share of work carrying materials up the steep slope, and they were proud of their participation in the construction of this important community asset.
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