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www. WaterForHumans.Org

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Water for Humans Summer Newsletter: September 2013

WFH exists because of you!!!  Thank you for your support.

This is what we have been up to since our last newsletter.

$25,000 Goal Met
Our supporters reached a milestone when your donations to Water for Humans reached our $25,000 goal. We have been keeping track with the water glass on our homepage. This milestone is for donations from you, our supporters, only. It does not include money from contracts or grants. Thank-you, pat yourselves on the back, celebrate. You make our work possible!!!

Cookstove Workshop in Mexico
Eighty-nine families from the four communities that participated in the cook stove pilot in February ordered cookstoves.  Rick and Stan went back to the Mazateca area of Oaxaca in July to conduct a stove building workshop to teach the promoters/catalyzers from the four communities how to build the clean, efficient cookstoves.
The workshop took place in Cerro Alto (one of the four communities).  The Hunger Project – Mexico purchased and transported the material for the workshop to Cerro Alto.  The workshop consisted of a lot of hands-on activities with each phase broken down to a step-by-step process.

Unfortunately, the workshop was interrupted for two and a half weeks because of the violence that erupted in the area after local elections.  Rick and Stan retreated to Mexico City until the violence subsided and then returned to finish the workshop.

The original intent was to leave when the promoters/catalyzers were knowledgeable and experienced enough to finish the eighty-nine stoves on their own.  But, because of the interruption, Rick and Stan will return in September to finish guiding them to self-sufficiency.

This is what is Next:  Cookstove 2.0
Because of the success of our first 90+ cook stoves we now want to pursue Generation 2.0 of the cookstove. This new stove design will be less costly and much easier to build, more efficient, and thus more sustainable.  To make this a reality, we will need to raise funds for research & development, prototype tooling and stove certification from the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, OR.  We have already built a strong team of partners with groups from Clemson University, University Washington, a local 3-D printing company, local mechanical engineers and heat transfer experts, tooling and mold designers-builders and Allied Materials (castable high temperature ceramics).

Our plan is to have generation 2.0 cookstove ready to six to nine months after we secure the required funding. The building of these stoves will be carried out by the 20+ promoters we have trained during the generation 1.0 cookstove program.  With the help of our partner THP and patent attorneys associated with Invent for Humanity, we plan to secure intellectual property rights in Latin America and India. In collaboration with THP we will help form a co-op business structure for a social enterprise starting with our current promoters to make the stoves available in the greater Mazateca region. Our November fundraiser is to implement this part of our program.

Latrine and Rainwater Harvesting Update
In February Water for Humans built one residential rainwater harvesting system and two composting latrines in Piedra de la Luz (Mazateca region of Oaxaca) as a pilot project.  The four communities involved decided to use the services of Isla Urbana in Mexico City to build community sized rainwater harvesting systems.  Rick and Stan met with Enrique Lomnitz (Director of Usla Urbana) and David Vargas (Director of Operations) to learn more about their technology.  Both organizations learned from each other about the strengths and weaknesses of both systems.  We decided to collaborate and design a system that is better and more cost beneficial to the consumer.  Water for Humans’ contribution will be a more effective, easier to install and less expensive water conveyance (guttering) system.

The communities have not made a decision yet about the composting latrines.  Culturally they are completely different from anything they have used before for human waste.  The idea that in two years they will produce a valuable soil additive for their crops is unthinkable.  We think that there is still a chance they will accept this technology, but it will require a lot of hand holding from us, as well as from The Hunger Project – Mexico (our partners in this endeavor).  We plan to work closely with them to make sure that the latrines are used properly and to show the value of the end product (compost).

Oaxaca State Finance Minister Update
After a long struggle in which we thought we were close to securing funds to rehabilitate the defunct wastewater treatment plant in Santa Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla, we finally had to throw in the towel.  The finance minister and the head of investment worked very hard in our favor to secure the funds through proper channels for us to do this important work. However, because the bureaucracy and other departmental ministers were holdovers from the prior administration and we were potentially going to show that our technology and construction methods were a viable solution, the head of the state water commission (longtime bureaucrat) did not allow the contract to move forward. This was a long and painful lesson for us. However, along the way we built some very good partners for future opportunities. Going forward, we now understand that the only way that we can work at the municipal level is if we have the direct approval of the governor who can then force the hands and direct ministry heads to allow our work to move forward.

GiveBig May, 15th 2013
Thank you for all your support and generous donations on May 15nd for the GiveBIG Campaign.  This was our second year participating in The Seattle Foundation sponsored event.  The Seattle Foundation added money to our campaign based on your contributions.  In total, we collected $1,205.  Your contributions have allowed us to continue our pursuit of providing clean, inexpensive water, sanitation and efficient cookstove solutions to the underserved.  Thank you.

Nelly Fernandez Tellez

We are happy to report that Nelly is still part of our team for our ongoing work in the central Valley of Oaxaca. See is no longer working at INSO, however, she is now on contract with us to help us explore and move forward several potential opportunities in the central Valley of Oaxaca.  As funding permits we still hope to work with INSO to move forward with the Bravo Ahuja rainwater harvesting program.

Want to volunteer and help   Water for Humans ? Just contact Rick

Thank you!
Your support keeps Water for Humans moving forward.

PS: Save the date --- Saturday 2 November 1-7 pm (open house) to: Fundraise For the Future and Celebrate 91 clean cookstoves. Location -- NE Seattle.  Watch for a formal announcement to sign-up.

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