Treated water for schools in Nogales

Mark Miller, chairperson, International Services Committee, and many-time rider in El Tour de Tucson.

Mark Miller, chairperson, International Services Committee, and many-time rider in El Tour de Tucson.

Doug May

The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke has a partnership with the Rotary Club in Nogales, Sonora to build and install drinking fountain systems in schools. After a period of planning, coordinating, and applying for a global grant from Rotary International, the installation is progressing. Rotary has worldwide projects like this funded by grants from the international organization. Our club has many ongoing projects in nearby schools and communities, but this is the second large international water projects in our twenty two-year history.

There is, without question, a need for treated water in Nogales. Parents who can afford to do so will send bottled water to school with a child. A few systems of this design were installed initially by the Rotary Club of Nogales and have been functioning with great success. As is typical for an international project, all system components and materials are purchased in the host country to support their economy. Both Rotary clubs have worked together to develop this project and apply for the grant. Translation between English and Spanish has added a challenge and made the effort interesting. Four other southern Arizona Rotary clubs joined with ours to contribute toward the matching grant.

Several of our club members have participated in bringing this project to fruition. Currently, Mark Miller and John Ruland are the champions. There are more than 100 schools in Nogales, Sonora that would be targets for drinking water installations. The current Global Grant will fund installations in 24 over the next several months. Our members enjoy updates with presentations and some travel to see the progress. It is common for people in the local neighborhood to celebrate activation of a new system. It is fiesta time for them, often a tradition in Mexico. Projects like this are very rewarding for Rotary club members. Fulfilling needs throughout the world as volunteers is business as usual for Rotarians, and potable water has a high priority.

The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke is an active service club with a prime focus on youth. In addition to international projects, we help schools and activities outside of schools in nearby communities. Join us for lunch on a Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the Agave Lounge of the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. Please contact Wendy Guyton, 520-404-5712, for more information.