blueEnergy works to create a more equitable, sustainable world


Diagnosing the Rio Escondido communities

By Chris Sparadeo -- El Rio Escondido is one of the most important rivers in Nicaragua. Its 88km passage from El Rama to Bluefields serves as a vital transportation route from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. Not only are the river's economic values of importance, but its diverse ecosystems sustain its riverside denizens as well. As Rio Escondido is an accumulation of four Pacific side tributaries, its biotic health has been steadily deteriorating due to the influx of accumulated contamination in recent years.

blueEnergy recently set out to gather useful community data in eight of the nine riverside communities in efforts to provide meaningful energy assistance throughout the area. In April's rainiest week, bE navigated Rio Escondido’s winding, narrow basins and traversed its unforgiving terrain to hold community workshops and deliver household surveys of which implicated an impressive 33% of the population. The idea: to better understand community dynamics and current health and energy conditions to allow blueEnergy to provide for the communities' specific energy and sanitation needs.

Danilo recording group responses in Mahogany

According to the data gathered, a surprising 24% of households acquire water for consumption from the river and its basins. Although most other sources of water in the community are presumably contaminated, it is assured that river water from Rio Escondido is most definitely unsuitable for consumption. 35% of households do not use latrines, and of the 65% that do, only 18% are considered “non-contaminating”. With ongoing projects in well drilling, water filtration and dry latrines, the new statistics have blueEnergy’s Water and Sanitation team watering at the mouth.

Pearl verifying the map drawn of Sisi

Current applications of renewable energy within the community are minimal, and household illumination practices consist of candles, flashlights and kerosene lamps. Cooking is dominated by the use of wood, of which it is predicted the average household uses somewhere around of 570 sticks of wood per month.

Community members listening intently to Danilo in Mahogany

Although the amassed information demonstrates the communities’ current limitations, blueEnergy recognizes that through its lack of fundamental necessities, the region exhibits an immense potential for sustainable energies and development. Each and every one of the eight communities demonstrated a sincere unity and commitment that characterizes the region's amazing capacity.

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