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You are hereElementary Schools in Mexico City Enjoy the Gift of Clean Water

Elementary Schools in Mexico City Enjoy the Gift of Clean Water


By Stella Almond - Posted on 18 September 2012

 Since 2008 a project of District 4170 (Mexico) and seven districts in Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, and Tennessee, has funded the installation of clean water tank systems in more than 50 schools in Mexico City. Elementary schools across Mexico City have clean drinking water and improved sanitation thanks to U.S. and Mexican Rotarians. Photos courtesy of Ron Appuhn.  


Since 2008, Heart 2 Heart, a project of District 4170 (Mexico) and seven districts in Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, and Tennessee, has funded the installation of clean water tank systems in more than 50 schools, improving the daily lives of tens of thousands of students. A 10,000 liter tank is connected to each school’s internal plumbing and filtering system to provide clean water for drinking, toilet flushing, and hand washing.


Better sanitation at schools means healthier students and more time spent in the classroom, says Ron Appuhn, one of the project’s coordinators and immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Maryville-Alcoa, Tennessee.


“Not having clean water and sanitation impacts children’s ability to go to school. Students get sick and they miss school,” says Appuhn. He adds that providing schools with basic necessities allows teachers and administrators to focus on educating the students.


Local Rotarians arrange for the construction and delivery of the water tanks, assist with the installation and plumbing, and train school officials in routine maintenance. Each tank is refilled weekly by the government at no cost to the school or Rotarians.


Each tank costs US$3,500. They are made mostly of steel and last up to 40 years. The plan is to install 50 to 60 more clean water systems, according to Appuhn.


Promoting water projects on Rotary Showcase


To share the success of Heart 2 Heart with the Rotary world, Appuhn added the project to Rotary Showcase. The new online tool allows clubs to publicize project achievements to other Rotarians and Facebook friends.


Here are examples of other clean water and sanitation projects on Rotary Showcase:



  • The Rotary Club of Forest Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virung, Rwanda, installed a solar-powered pumping station next to a natural spring near a village at the base of a mountain in central Rwanda. The station pumps more than 8,800 gallons of clean water every day, giving the village ample water for drinking, cooking, and agriculture.

  • Members of the Rotary Club of Bangalore East, Karnataka, India, worked with government officials to provide heavy machinery to extend a natural water basin by 10,000 square feet. The collection of runoff and rainwater serves two purposes: it increases the water supply in surrounding areas and stops flooding of nearby roads.

  • District 7500 (New Jersey, USA) and the Rotary Club of Los Álamos de Monterrico, Peru, used a Rotary Matching Grant to provide bio-sand filters for more than 500 families in Lima, Peru. Rotarians hope to extend the project to include 5,000 more families.

Promote your club's achievements on Rotary Showcase.


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