Context, Justification and Solution
The Dominican Republic (DR) covers the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti, and is about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont, combined. Unfortunately the DR is a country with many needs and poorly guarded resources. It has pockets of extreme wealth but is still largely a poor country of 10 million people with more than a third of them living on less than $1.25 a day and over 20 percent of the country living in extreme poverty. Four of the giants that contribute to this poverty are:
1) Lack of clean water,
2) Food sustainability short-comings,
3) Limited access to primary healthcare and education and
4) Absence of technical and vocational job training
Lack of Clean Water
Over half of the country does not have access to clean water, and diarrhea; a symptom of water‐borne diseases, is a serious problem. Diarrheal disease, accounting for nearly 2.2 million deaths worldwide (WHO 2008a) per annum, is documented weekly by physicians over 3500 times in infants under the age of 5 in the Dominican Republic.
Food Sustainability Shortcomings
Government investment in social and productive development is limited and has created low agricultural productivity.
Income-generating farming is nearly impossible for agriculturalists because traditional methods and resources have not produced enough yields to sustain life.
Limited Access to Primary Healthcare and Education
In the Dominican Republic there are less then 2 physicians available per 1,000 people. UNICEF says the country’s infant mortality rate is at 27 per 1,000 births (The average for all of Latin America and the Caribbean is 16 per 1,000, according to the Pan American Health Organization) and the maternal mortality ratio is more than double the regional average. Access to critical health care and essential medicines is the plight to the most impoverished living in the country’s rural communities and underserved urban and border areas.
Absence of Technical & Vocational Job Training
The low qualification of the labor force in the Dominican Republic has caused its rapidly growing economy to shift in recent years from basic commodity exports (sugar, coffee, tobacco) to services such as tourism and telecommunications. This has lead to a lack of decent jobs, underemployment, and the growth in the number of workers who join the informal sector of the economy. These characteristics, combined with other factors, affect the quality of life of the population and promote inequality, especially among women and youth.
A social business model using aquaponic-farming methodology, sustainable agricultural biology and household-scale ceramic filtration technology to fund a community vocational/technical training and health care center. This collaborative project is a sustainable solution that will address these concerns.
A sustainable solution that addresses the lack of clean water, food sustainability short-comings, the limited access to primary healthcare and education and the absence of technical and
vocational job training for the poor and marginalized in the “El Cibao” region of the, Dominican Republic.
- A for-profit Ceramic Water Filter Factory
- A non-profit Community Vocational/Technical Training and Health Care Center with a Mobile Unit
- A for-profit Sustainable Agriculture & Aquaponics Farm
- A self-sustaining income generating factory and farm that supports the community center by the third year of operations
- 10 farming family units trained at the farm
- 50 students involved in vocational / technical training
- 200 participants in small business training through the community center.
- 2000 family units a year that go through public health training on importance of clean water and sanitation.
- 1000 patients receiving primary healthcare consultations and medicine
- 2000 Ceramic Filters manufactured and sold
- Acquisition & Site Development of a 10 – Acre land plot near Santiago, Dominican Republic
- Ceramic Water Filter Factory
- Community Center
- Community Center Mobile Unit
- Staff House (3)
- Volunteer Housing (dorm) and Cafeteria
- Green Houses (3) with aquaponic systems
- Sustainable Agriculture Farm
- Land Fees / Taxes
- Borehole Well and Water System
- Micro-Financing Program
- Conduct interviews with community leaders to gain support and involvement in the project.
- Project management of the construction of a farm, ceramic water filter factory and community center compound
- Locating, training and equipping of staff to run the farm, factory and center
- Establishing a management committee to give oversight to the farm, factory and center
Following installation of the farm, factory and center, our project manager will follow-up to ensure sustainability and success through:
- Establishing a management committee or board that will give oversight to the farm, factory and center.
- Creating business systems so that product that is produced at the farm and factory will be sold to local, regional and international markets.
- Business training at the community center.
- A Micro-finance program
- Public Health training on the importance of clean water so the population will purchase water filters
Project management of the Santiago Agriculture and Water Company will be provided through the Amoveo Group in collaboration with Mr. Rick Romano. Mr. Romano has over-seen theimplementationof development projects in Latin America for over 15 years.