Abad Castro’s team held extensive consultations
with the provincial government, the regional
water authority, and community residents. Public
officials, Rotarians, and Fundación Jocotoco staff
are working together to hold eight workshops
for stakeholders, including farmers, developers,
and residents of the communities within the
watershed. Topics include the quality of water
used for irrigation and human consumption,
managing water for agricultural development,
soil conservation, and treating wastewater from
By looking at the whole system and going
beyond the river to find out how land, water, and
humans can better interact, they’ve made a more
sustainable future possible.
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
WITH A GLOBAL GRANT
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World Rotaract Week is 9-15 March. Learn how you
can celebrate each day of the week on Rotaract’s
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Month
1-31 District governors nominate non-Rotarians,
including partners and spouses of Rotarians,
for the Rotary Award for Excellence in
Service to Humanity. Nominees must
demonstrate exemplary humanitarian
service in accordance with Rotary ideals.
Read tips on how to write a compelling
9-15 World Rotaract Week
28 Presidential conference, Rotary Day at
UNESCO, Paris, France
31 Preregistration discount on the Rotary
International Convention ends
Maternal and Child Health Month
30 Rotary Convention registrations and ticket
cancellations are due
Rotarians in Ecuador are using a global grant project to restore a ravaged watershed in
the foothills of the Andes while collaborating with an environmental nonprofit to teach
residents how to improve the safety of their water supply.
During a 2017 Rotary project fair in Ecuador,
Fressia Abad Castro, past president of the
Rotary Club of Machala Moderno in El Oro and
a past district governor who is also an engineer
and organic farmer, pitched the idea to Pedro
Cevallos-Candau. Like Abad Castro, he’s an
engineer and a past district governor, and he’s
originally from Ecuador. He’s now a member of
the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA.
The project was designed to combine Rotary’s
strengths with the expertise of the Fundación
Jocotoco, a local environmental nonprofit that
manages a forest preserve in the watershed.
Through it, the Fundación Jocotoco is planting
30,000 trees of native species on 100 acres of
deforested land in the upper watershed of the
Rotarians in Abad Castro’s and Cevallos-Candau’s
clubs are funding the project through a global
grant under the water, sanitation, and hygiene
area of focus. In their grant application, they
described how unsustainable farming practices
endanger springs and streams in the watershed
and how the loss of trees contributes to soil
erosion, decreased rainfall, and sedimentation.
Runoff from pig and poultry farms on the cleared
land pollutes the river. The toxins, along with
water shortages caused by the farms’ water use,
affect 90,000 people downstream who depend on
the river for irrigation and drinking water.
Making the grant better
Rotary Grants staff encouraged the clubs to
ensure that key stakeholders — from the
provincial government to local farmers —
understood the changes they needed to make to
improve the water quality and supply.
“We’ve done other watershed management
projects, particularly in India,” says Susan
Doxtator, the regional grants officer for Ecuador.
“Most of these involve check dams and flood
control. This one, based on reforestation, was
different — coming up with a solution was
“We urged the project team to develop a
structure that would work,” she adds.
The questions that needed to be asked included:
What is the watershed management plan in
Will this project fit with what that plan aims
What educational activities can you carry out
with stakeholders — especially those involved
in agriculture and economic development?
Is the local government providing any
incentives to farmers to keep riverbanks
forested, protect springs, and reduce
turbidity and runoff?