Two Overbrook Grantees Help Establish Clearwater, an Indigenous Ecuadorian Initiative to Provide Communities with Clean Water

Flowing from the February 14 2011 decision by an Ecuadorian court finding Chevron guilty of dumping oil and contaminants in the Amazonian rainforest over decades, indigenous Ecuadorian communities and a coalition of non-profits - including Overbrook grantees Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch - founded ClearWater in late 2011. This initiative aims to provide clean water in areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon hardest hit by years of oil pollution.

 

In early October, 2011, the ClearWater pilot project broke ground in the community of Cofan Dureno, with the community-led installation of 52 rainwater catchment systems (please see here for an example of the installation of a catchment system).

 

The basins are intended to reduce dependency on river systems for water, which have been heavily polluted through oil extraction activities. They cost about $1200 per family, but are also easy to install and can last up to 50 years if maintained properly. Further, not only are the systems ideal for rural areas, but the specially designed filtered catchment units will enable families, health clinics and schools to have clean water.

 

Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network are key partners in this effort and are active in helping to raise awareness for the project, which not only offers Amazonian communities safe drinking water, but highlights their decades-long struggle to achieve recognition and reparations for destruction of their environment and way-of-life.