Development Project Updates from Gustavo De Los Rios

*Shelter A Water Project

At Shelter A, water storage and filtration was identified as an urgent need late last year. Due to the shelter’s topographical location, water is scarce in the area, particularly for the shelter’s 150-200 inhabitants. This scarcity results in infrequent bathing, hand washing, laundry, etc… Moreover, the water in the area is not safe to drink; migrants, shelter workers and volunteers must travel long distances to fill gallons of potable water, even as shelter in place directives discourage such travel.

Alongside COESPO and IOM, (Consejo Estatal de Poblacion, International Organization for Migration) we’ve been able to fund a remodeling project for the shelter that would include more fencing and security measures, bathroom renovations, and water storage. Abara took the lead on the water storage, and we’re looking to incorporate filtration into the project. Currently, the water storage has begun construction and we’re hoping it will be done soon. The water filtration system is about $8,100, with the potential be cleaning and storing water for up to 200 people daily.

*Shelter B Flood Prevention Project 

Shelter B, by contrast, deals with an excess of water. After periods of heavy rainfall, the whole shelter floods, running into the church, the shelter and the church offices. The water can get up to knee-high levels and is very difficult to remove from the buildings. The flooding has caused irreparable water damage to furniture in the office and shelter. An engineer has identified needs for higher fencing to block off the water, access to ramps for the main entrances and an automobile entrance which would obstruct the water’s paths. His main recommendation is a drainage pond which would prevent the water from accumulating.

The total cost for the whole project comes to about $11,600. We are currently part of a coalition working together to raise the funds needed for this work.

Food Delivery to Shelters

As for the situation with COVID-19, it has prevented a lot of organizations from crossing into Juárez and getting donations to the shelters. Many of the Mexican shelters rely heavily on the U.S. organizations to provide food, so we’re partnering with different organizations both on the U.S. side and on the Mexico side to order food from local markets in Juárez and deliver directly to the shelters. This strategy will keep food flowing into the shelters while preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are looking to help about 20 shelters with these food deliveries. 

*Shelter names have been changed to protect the privacy of the shelter directors and migrants.

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