Water – Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos

nph-damWe’ve been working with Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos in Honduras, home to 700 children, since January to reduce their water and power consumption, but it’s only part of the answer. Water shortages during the dry season are forcing them to sell or kill their livestock and buy vegetables at a substantially higher cost.

There is a partial solution involving a dam at the orphanage that collects runoff water from the mountain behind it. Engineers have determined that if we raise it by 2 meters we can extend their water supply by 4-6 weeks. The problem is they can’t afford the $16,000 needed to build it.

Extra water from the dam could push them past the dry season, allowing them to irrigate their crops like corn, king grass and sorghum for their cattle, rather than the current practice of relying on sugar cane – the only thing that survives the lack of water. The problem with sugar cane is a lack of protein.

Improving feed will increase milk production by up to 20% and allows the orphanage to reduce the number of dairy cows necessary for milk and cheese or creates a surplus they can sell in the local village. Enough water during the dry season will increase the production of vegetables, saving money and improving the health of the children.