On the 27th of August 2003, a group from Arizona State University, installed the solar panels and hooked up the system providing the much anticipated electricity to drive the water pump that now provides drinking water to the Katitawa School as well as water for irrigation for the crops that they grow. They also installed a second set of panels that provides lighting and power for their two computers and small appliances.
The project was started a couple of years before when Kathrine J. Lewis had visited the school, saw a need for electricity and as a geology student at ASU, decided to see what she could do to make it a university project. I am trying to contact Ms. Lewis to find more information about the project from her point of view so hopefully I will be editing this post soon.
Below are some pictures that I gleaned from the university website. Click on the pictures to enlarge.
On the morning of the 27th the crew arrives with the solar panels that they will install inside the fenced area. In the lower-left you see the pumping station. The tank attached to the control house contains the submersible pump which will take water from the irrigation canal to the holding tank about 265 meters above.Excitement mounts as the first panels are taken from their boxes.Once the panels were in and operating the Director of the School Rosa Maria Masaquiza posed with the workers in front of the installation..The second part of the job was to install a panel on top of one of the classrooms, which will provide power for lighting and other small appliances. Compared to the other installation this was a piece of cake.It appears that everything is working fine as the first water comes out of one of the irrigation pipes.Thank you for a job well done, the men who donated their time to get this project started were given a tapestry woven by a local weaver as a remberence of the time they spent at the Katitawa School here in Salasaca. And thank you....Kathrine Lewis for your interest in the community of Salasaca.