IPS® Corporation Partners with Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association and the Colorado School of Mines for Humanitarian Project in Honduras
Compton, CA (January 31, 2008) – IPS® Corporation is contributing product and technical expertise to a Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA) humanitarian project in Colinas de Suiza, Villanueva, Honduras. In conjunction with the Colorado School of Mines and the Food for Poor Foundation, PPFA, IPS Corporation and other PPFA members are contributing to the engineering and construction of a potable water system for the 1,650 families living in Colinas de Suiza. The families spend about 25 percent of their income to purchase daily, often contaminated, water rations, trucked to the community over difficult terrain.
David Munoz, PhD, Associate Professor of Engineering, Division of Engineering, and Director of the Humanitarian Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) began working on the project four years ago when they first discovered the poor water distribution conditions. Dr. Munoz and his team of engineering students designed a new and better community water distribution system for Colinas de Suiza. In the process, CSM identified the materials necessary to build the new system. Dr. Munoz reached out to the PPFA for help from its membership.
The PPFA presented the opportunity to contribute product and technical expertise to Terry McPherson, Vice President, Technical Services, IPS Corporation, who was enthusiastic about helping Colinas de Suiza improve the quality of life for its citizens. McPherson rallied IPS Corporation to contribute Weld-On® PVC medium and heavy-duty solvent cements and primers.
In addition to the PVC cement products, IPS Corporation provided technical expertise. Stephen Gardiner, Bilingual Training Representative, Technical Services, IPS Corporation, went to Colinas de Suiza where he worked with Dr. Munoz and the CSM student engineering team reviewing plans, availability and storage of needed pipe, fittings and cements. The team provided instructions to and worked with the local six-man Villanueva Water and Sanitation Department installation crew. Gardiner presented a solvent welding seminar in Spanish to the crew in the local church. He worked with the crew trenching, laying and solvent welding four-inch PVC main line pipes and two-inch pipes from the storage tank over some steep terrain. Gardiner did the solvent welding of joints initially and then turned it over to the installation crew.
The Food for Poor Foundation, working with Dr. Munoz, the PPFA and the Municipality of Villanueva, coordinated activities of the Honduras Project partners including the shipping and delivery of materials. The Food for Poor Foundation raises funds and provides direct relief assistance to the neediest people in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Several years in the making, the Colinas de Suiza potable water system project is planned for completion this spring. According to Gardiner, the residents of Colinas de Suiza are excited by the progress and the soon-to-be-realized improvement in their quality of life. Gardiner will be returning with Dr. Munoz in March to further assist in the completion of the project and the cementing of relations with southern neighbors.