In March, Agua Sustentable organized an exchange of experiences between communities of the Sajama National Park and the communities of the Illimani Zone, glacier sites in which the institution works. This activity pretended to create an opportunity for mutual learning. Residents of Illimani got to know the day to day life in a Protected Area, while people of Sajama learned about the work and the organizing of the rights for water use, agriculture, etc. Each zone elected a committee of delegates that went to the region to be visited. During two days the representatives had the opportunity to see the pilot works in progress and shared experiences with the communities that received them. The results of this initiative were important, for example, villagers saw the work of permeabilization of the ponds, pipelines use to optimize water use and management of knowledge and information. The visitors acknowledged the work done in the visited places and could exchange experiences and customs of each area, which were then to be shared with their communities of origin.
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On the 25th and 26th of March, a group of delegates from the communities of the Sajama National Park visited the Illimani area to learn about the work in implementation at the site. Representatives visited five communities in which Agua Sustentable implements water management works for irrigation. During the visit, the delegation got to know the improvement works of irrigation systems and ponds built in the area. They were also able to share with the community members of Illimani, who received them with fruits and vegetables of the region, and who described them their views on the work of the institution in the area. As a result, representatives of the Sajama National Park saw some of the completed works, which motivated them to work on the pilot works being built in their communities.
On the 27th and 28th of March an exchange of experiences between communities Sajama National Park and the Sajhuaya River Watershed took place. On this occasion, representatives of the communities Tahuapalca, La Granja, Khapi, Cebollullo and Challasirca, all of the Illimani area, visited communities of the Sajama National Park. During their visit, the delegates got to know the area and its various touristic attractions that generate income for the communities. They also visited some wetlands in the area, where the visitors learned how the livestock management is done in the zone. Similarly, they participated in community meetings, whereby the representatives of Illimani appreciated the customs of the zone. The delegation returned to their communities with new knowledge on organization and production in an area geographically different from their own.
On Wednesday 9th of May the improvement works of one of the irrigation canals of the Cebollullo community in the Illimani zone were officially delivered. This work was carried out jointly with the villagers of the zone, and achieves the optimization of the water that reaches their crops. The work consisted in the coating of the channels with cement and the improvement of the water intake of this canal. The community organized a delivery ceremony at the site of the works, which was attended by a delegation of Agua Sustentable and DIAKONIA; at the ceremony, the Executive Director of the first, Carlos Carafa and some leaders of Cebollullo underlined the work, its benefits and the importance of the cooperative work. After the ceremony, they returned to the community to share a lunch prepared by the people, whereby the delegation of Agua Sustentable could share with the residents of the area.
In the exchange of experiences in the Sajama National Park, visitors recognized the importance of women in the community. "We value a lot the customs of Sajama, the people maintain their ancestral costumes, respect the 'chacha - warmi' (complementarity between man - woman), this is not so in the Illimani zone, we apologize because we do not practice it anymore." REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHALLASIRCA COMMUNITY
"Almost in all communities we have been welcomed by women authorities, women have a strong character and are leaders." REPRESENTATIVE OF THE TAHUAPALCA COMMUNITY
"Being part of the exchange of experiences has been a valuable experience." Participants acknowledged the differences and similarities between the two areas. They also considered their own weaknesses and the strengths of the others, thus identifying potential opportunities related to sustainable development and climate change adaptation. Learning from the other is to transcend the proper scheme, valuing what one has but recognizing what can be improved or changed after the observations. MATILDE AVEJERA, AGUA SUSTENTABLE TEAM
"One thing is what they tell us, and something else is to see it with our own eyes. One can imagine many things, but often, the reality is different " In the words of the delegates of the Sajama National Park, the experience of visiting the Illimani zone gave them the recognition of the "willingness to work" in this zone. The conclusion emerged when comparing their work with that done by communities in the Sajhuaya Watershed. The representatives of the Park admired the effort made by the people of the Illimani Zone in order to assure a good production. This was an achievement of the project, reflecting the richness of the experience. ROSA JIMENEZ, SULKA MAMA TAMANI (AUTHORITY) OF THE PAPELPAMPA COMMUNITY
â€œIn both zones (Illimani and Sajama), the existing link between women and water, both at work as in the domestic work, makes them particularly vulnerable to climate change. In Sajama, they are forced to wash their clothes in the river, because of the freezing temperatures, which are continuously worsening, freeze the taps and they must wait until the afternoon for thaw. Also, when water is scarce, the cattle does not eat properly, which affects the quality of the wool used for their handicraft production." ADRIANA SOTO, AGUA SUSTENTABLE TEAM
Period: April to May
Community: La Granja, Challasirca, Khapi, Tahuapalca and Cebollullo Work Accomplished: Exchange of experiences between representatives of the Sajama National Park (visitors) and communities of the Sajhuaya River Watershed (hosts). Community: La Granja Work Accomplished: Construction of a distribution system for irrigation water, which will improve the conduction efficiency. Community: Khapi Work Accomplished: Harvesting of rainwater for the installation of catchments for the toilets. Delivery of works scheduled for late May. Community: Challasirca Work Accomplished: Completion of improvement works of sections of the irrigation canal.
Community: Sajama Work Accomplished: Completion of the wind pump extractor for irrigation water. Community: Caripe Work Accomplished: completion of the implementation of eight hand pumps "Yaku" for water extraction. Community: Sajama National Park Work Accomplished: Exchange of experiences between community representatives of the Illimani Zone (visitors) and communities of the Sajama National Park (host).
Period: June to July
Between the months of June and July, the Agua Sustentable team will implement the reconditioning of irrigation canals in the Manasaya community. This work consists of the construction of a water intake structure, which will improve the intake of water resources destined to irrigation canals for crop.
ď‚Š During the month of June, the collection and distribution works for irrigation water in 'machaje' areas (area where male 'macho' cattle is raised) in the Papelpampa community will be completed. These works consist in the implementation of polytubes and canal lining with cement, allowing better distribution of water in the irrigation canals. So, people can improve the breeding of their male cattle breeding.
Continuing the implementation of works that will improve access to drinking water in the community of Papelpampa, work will start on these. The works will begin in mid June and are expected to end in late August.