Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) is a global leader in developing, manufacturing and distributing evaporative or hybrid cooling and ice thermal storage products. The availability of clean water is critical to the safe operation of sustainable evaporative cooling equipment. BAC is engaged in making sure that clean and safe water is available to people worldwide, as it is essential to human development.

Just a Drop partnered with Baltimore Aircoil Company on World Water Day, 22 March 2018, to bring safe water and sanitation to communities worldwide. Since then, our partnership has reached thousands of people and in the coming year, BAC will support a further two projects, in Nicaragua, reaching a further 251 people with access to safe water.

Tempisque and La Jícara Villages, Nicaragua

(Top) A home in the community of La Jícara. (Bottom) La Jícara school.

As of March 2023, BAC will be supporting two communities in Nicaragua. Tempisque is a village of 151 people and La Jícara of 101. With BAC and Just a Drop's help, all the inhabitants of both villages will receive access to safe water, which they currently lack.

At present, the people of Tempisque rely on a single tap 500 metres from the village which they are forced to make multiple trips a day to. The water is unsafe and unclean, which leads to a lot of illness in the community, particularly among the children. La Jícara relies on a single uncovered source for water, which is also unclean and unsafe, and children going to school must carry containers with them to last the day. As in Tempisque, the reliance on contaminated drinking water results in a lot of illness in the community.

In La Jícara, we'll provide safe water to each individual household from a nearby spring which tests have shown is a clean water supply. The clean water is distributed to a 5,000 litre tank and from there to a tap at each home. In both communities, residents are charged a small fee for using water, which will then be used to ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the water supply systems.

In Tempisque, we'll use an underground spring which has been shown to provide safe water to fill two 5,000 litre distribution tanks via a pipeline and then a further piped system will take the water through a
gravity feed to eight public tap stands, each close to people’s homes. The community will be taught how to repair and maintain the system and to ensure that it is providing safe water.

In both communities, our work will result in a decrease in illness and poor health, children's ability to attend and perform better at school will improve, and both communities will for the first time have access to safe water from a sustainable and constant source. 

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Have a read below of some of the other projects BAC and Just a Drop partnered on, over the years.

Lieb Village, Cambodia

 

(Left) BAC team standing in front of newly constructed latrines. (Right) Biosand filter in Lieb village.

In Cambodia, through providing Biosand Filters (BSFs) and latrines, 671 people in the village of Lieb now have access to safe water and better sanitation for the first ever time and live in a more hygienic place.

Families in the village faced many challenges, which included access to safe water and latrines, which this project  addressed.

The main sources of water were wells, but the water from these wells was dirty and contaminated, making the water unpotable.

There were some latrines, but not nearly enough to go around, people went to the toilet in the open, leading to the spread of diseases and a significant loss of quality of life.

To change this, we implemented a comprehensive programme of work across the village. Biosand Filters provide a simple but effective means of providing safe water at household level. They produce many litres of safe water per day, removing impurities from dirty water and providing enough water for each family for drinking and cooking.

The latrines provided feature a pour flush, soak pit and 2-chamber watertight septic tank, and comprehensive hygiene education for all the villagers was also delivered– the whole community benefited.

Nantale and Tara Primary Schools, Zambia

Tara Primary School's new gender-sensitive latrine blocks.

We also worked in Zambia at two primary schools, Tara Primary which has 480 children and Nantale, which has 540 children.

At both Tara and Nantale, there was one common issue – the situation around sanitation. The latrines at the schools were simply not fit for purpose, in fact they were identified as major health hazards.

This poor sanitation in schools had a direct impact on both children and teachers, with high levels of illness leading to absenteeism. Put simply, there was a massive barrier in children’s ability to live normal lives, with facilities we all take for granted.

In each school, we are constructing girls and boys latrines, with hand washing facilities and a separate changing room for girls and providing a Menstrual Hygiene Management workshop with pad provision for girls, in the upper two years.

Shahpura Village, India

Safe water and sanitation for the residents of Shahpura Village

Thanks to the generous support of BAC, we have been able to provide safe and reliable water to 230 people.

With the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of the village, we drilled a well, constructed a 40,000 litre water tank and built a pipeline to provide the 230 people in the village with a supply of safe, clean water.  We also provided two families with access to model twin pit toilet/bathing area units and refurbished 25 toilets which weren't being used. Finally, we constructed a new latrine block and handwashing  platform at Aanganwadi, the local nursery school. The project will also bring wider benefits to the community. As well as the construction of new facilities, the community received hygiene training, maximising the impact of the project and ensuring its sustainability.

The project has been a huge success, improving health and wellbeing across the community, as the incidences of water-related reduce.

El Chaparral Village, Nicaragua

(Left) Safe water available at home from a tap and piped water system. (Right) Pump house of the piped water system

Previously, the community had two private wells, as well as another at the school. However, tests showed these wells to be contaminated, leading to water-borne illnesses among the local residents.

Families spent anywhere between one and a half and two hours collecting water from these wells, making on average 11 trips in the morning and 5 more in the afternoon.

With BAC support, we've improved the situation, by installing an electric pumping water system and a drilled well, supplying 46 families, 1 school and 1 church with safe, reliable water. This project also included WASH training, with topics including hygiene, latrine use and hand-washing, all of which are crucial to increase the impact of this project, ensure its sustainability, and help protect the community from COVID-19.

Zzinga Health Centre, Uganda

Mothers with their children outside the antenatal clinic at Zzinga Health Centre, Uganda

Baltimore Aircoil Company is supporting Just a Drop to provide safe water and sanitation for 23,000 people who use the Zzinga Health Centre in Uganda. Located on a remote, difficult to reach island, it's the only health centre in the area and is often packed. However, the centre lacked proper water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and there wasn't enough water for everyone's drinking and washing needs, and there was only one small toilet block used by both staff and patients. 

With BAC's support, Just a Drop is working hard to install a 30,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank, a 14 stance toilet block, and an incinerator for the proper disposal of medical waste. Safe water will soon be available across the centre at all times, and sanitation and hygiene will improve. Staff will be able to offer higher care, essential services will improve, and all patients will experience significant benefits to health, well-being and dignity.

We have already provided hygiene and sanitation training, and training in how to operate and maintain the facilities.

Kyeni Primary School, Kenya

Children at Kyeni Primary School celebrate their new school rainwater harvesting tank, June 2018

In Kenya, thanks to support from BAC, Just a Drop has brought safe water and hygiene education to 303 children at Kyeni Primary School. Prior to having water at the school, children were forced to drink dirty water from a river 3km away and were frequently sick, meaning they missed out on their schooling, impacting their education. A rain water harvesting tank and hygiene education will now lead to long-term good health. 

We are facing a major challenge in terms of accessing water, sometimes we are required to go out and fetch water from an earth dam. We spend many hours fetching water in the evening and it is affecting my performance in class. Some of us bring some brownish coloured water and you find pupils drinking it when it’s hot and we are thirsty.

- Christine, 12, a student at Kyeni Primary

    

Kudo Village, India

Kudo village has 820 inhabitants, who previously shared four water pumps with a very low water yield. Existing toilets in the community were incorrectly designed and weren't used, and hygiene was poor. Malaria and stomach illnesses were very common, particularly among the young.

Just a Drop has provided a comprehensive solution, including a piped water system to each household, which has transformed the village – each individual will has access to clean and safe water and hygiene standards have improved hugely.

I was always worried about both of my daughters as we have to go outside for defecation, most of the time we all had to go either in the early morning or late evening/night. With our new latrine at home now, Just a Drop also addressed an issue on which we, the women of the village, did not talk with anyone about, menstrual problems that arise due to lack of awareness. Me and my daughters have now been trained and now we have started to talk about these issues

- Antia, 45

El Roblar, Nicaragua

Community members, Kudo Village, India

BAC's third project with Just a Drop benefitted the 201 people living in El Roblar, located 8km south of the town of Camoapa, in Nicaragua. It used to take around an hour and a half for families to fetch water, a trip they had to make between four to five times each day. The water often became contaminated when it was carried back.

Just a Drop has installed a piped water system which will bring safe water directly to individual homes. The community will now be healthier and long-term economic opportunities will improve.

We spent 9 years without water in our home, and we had to walk more than a kilometre away to carry four buckets of water - every day. The situation was more difficult during the rainy season when carrying the water on foot, as rain helped form mud on the paths. We were in danger of breaking a foot while carrying the water. Now with this new project, our problems have disappeared. We are very happy and grateful, because now we have the water in our own home and we have time to do other things for the community

- José

It was a pleasure to welcome 3 people from Baltimore Aircoil Company in Nicaragua to meet the community they supported