Members of the community of Sasle, Nicaragua lack access to potable water. The community
consists of 206 households and over 1000 people, approximately 200 of whom are children. Sasle is
located in a mountainous region of Nicaragua. Households are simple and constructed out of local
materials like wood, palm leaves, recycled materials (black plastic, sheet metal), and dirt floors. Within
Sasle, there is an elementary school which holds daily classes for children and weekend night classes for
high school students. There is one Catholic church, one Evangelical church, and no health post. Some of
the struggles faced by the community include a lack of sanitary latrines, insufficient access to clean water, and
inefficient use of wood burning cooking stoves, as well as deforestation and poor housing infrastructure.
The income of this community is largely agriculture-based, so water access in particular is incredibly
important to ensure its survival.
As of right now, approximately 25% of the community lacks access to clean water, and each
year, that number appears to increase. As a result, those who do not have access to clean water turn to
available alternatives, such as bacteria-infested lake water, and this puts the health of community
members at risk. In June 2016, our chapter of Engineers Without Borders began working with our
partner NGO, Bridges to Community-Nicaragua, in order to come up with better solutions for the
community of Sasle. Currently, our main concern is providing water access to those who currently lack
it. As of right now, this system will consist of a storage tank situated on the other side of the
village, and during the night, when the water source is not being used by the community, it will be
diverted to the storage tank. This tank will dispense water through pipes connected to homes, in an
effort to even out the water pressure. In addition, this tank’s proximity to the part of the community that
receives almost no water will make it possible for folks within that area to access
clean, potable water. EWB-RPI hopes to travel on an implementation trip in 2019.
Some photos of the community are below: