Manantialito, La Guajira

We collaborated with 8 women heads of household in the Afro-Campesino community of Manantialito (Barrancas, La Guajira) to strengthen local productive sovereignty, as well as prevention measures against COVID-19.

The aim is to ensure an income for these women through productive projects focused on the manufacture of disinfectant gel. These prevention products will be distributed, free of charge, in this and neighbouring communities, which lack elements of care and prevention against the virus. Additionally, the territory will be provided with eight EKOFIL water filters, necessary to guarantee the quality of the water to be used in the gel, which will remain in the community after the project is completed.

Through international fundraisers, carried out by the Colombia Solidarity Campaign of the United Kingdom and the Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien in Switzerland, it was possible to reach the goal of 9’000.000 COP (2.222 EUR). At this moment, we are in the implementation phase of the project.

About the Community

Manantialito is an Afro-Campesino community of about 280 people. Since its beginnings, Manantialito has been an eminently agrarian community, depending on crops such as cassava, corn and bananas, and the breeding of minor species. Manantialito is located a few kilometers from the Cerrejón open-pit coal mine, which has caused various socio-environmental problems, from contamination of its water sources to respiratory conditions in the population. Water scarcity – consequence of increasingly intense droughts, a product of climate change – added to the negative effects of the mine on the population, has meant that one of the main health risk factors for its inhabitants is respiratory disease, which is aggravated in the context of COVID-19.

Based on the principle of situated autonomy, RICO seeks to facilitate the production and distribution of antibacterial gels by female heads of households in the community. This seeks to generate a resource that will allow both the inhabitants of Manantialito and those of nearby settlements to be a little more prepared in the face of a possible arrival of the virus to the territory. 

The resources for this project were obtained by the Colombia Solidarity Campaign and the Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien, through international fundraisers. The money will be used 100% to pay for the production and logistical costs of the project, including the cost of materials and their transportation, as well as fair remuneration for the women who worked on the process.

Collected thus far!

Where are we?

  • Phase 1: Formulation

    Constitution of a working group in Manantialito and agreement on the concept

  • Phase 2: Fundraiser

    Opening of a virtual fundraiser, collection of plastic containers in Manantialito, and first transfer

  • Fase 3: Purchase and delivery

    Purchase of EKOFIL water filters, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerine and other materials and delivery to the territory.

  • Phase 4: Installation and execution

    Virtual training with engineers, pilot manufacturing process (10 liters of gel), production of batches of up to 60 liters of gel. Parallel distribution of the gels in Manantialito and other communities

  • Phase 5: Follow-Up

    Internal evaluation of work dynamics and delivery of narrative and financial reports

  • Phase 6: Exploration of upcoming initiatives

    Exploration of priorities for future activities in the community