Next week, the latest installment of the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC) program begins in the remote Navajo Mountain region of Piute Mesa on the Arizona-Utah border. The new project, the second to be presented in collaboration with the award-winning DigDeep Navajo Water Project, will run June 3-7.
The new CPC project represents one of the most ambitious yet, in terms of the geographic location and isolated situation of the host partners and recipient households involved. Navajo Mountain is the highest area of the Navajo Nation, more than 10,400 feet above sea level at its highest point. Due to their distance removed and difficulty to reach, the growing list of homes being surveyed by DigDeep across Piute Mesa is the last in line for promised water utility service connections and works that are commencing elsewhere in the more accessible and populated areas of Navajo Mountain chapter.
City of Santa Fe plumbing and mechanical inspector Ian Longacre, a member of UA Local 412 (New Mexico and El Paso, Texas) and the IAPMO board of directors, participated in October’s CPC and will return for CPC Navajo Mountain.
“As a returning team member joining this project, we will be embarking on one of our most exciting projects to date: volunteering to come and work in one of the most challenging regions we have been invited to, so far,” he said. “This project will be a tough but ultimately very rewarding experience for all who will be involved.”
Navajo Mountain Chapter President Hank Stevens said many people thought homes would never have running water on the reservation because of how remote and isolated it is, but such projects are showing that it is possible.
“These water systems are not just for us, but for the next generation,” he said. “Navajo Mountain may be remote, but we are not doing this on our own anymore. We are doing this with you.”
IWSH International Program Director Grant Stewart said October’s project in the Baca-Prewitt chapter near Thoreau, New Mexico, was a valuable opportunity to get new ideas from all participants and determine how they could be better organized and facilitated to support remote American households.
“Our aim, through this particular CPC program, is to continue bringing these improved methods forward with DigDeep: helping our host partners in these communities make continual gains toward better public health and hygiene, and keeping people from getting sick.”
Companies or organizations who wish to support the upcoming project, or any other future editions of the international CPC program, are encouraged to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.