Dominican Republic revisited: Community Project continues to provide clean water

1st January 2013

In spring 2011 Raleigh International worked in partnership with organic chocolatiers Green & Black's on the Community Development Programme which, for the first time brought clean, fresh water to a co-operative cocoa farming community where the company source their organic cocoa beans.

The programme’s taskforce consisted of Green & Black’s employees, online competition winners from the USA and UK, local community members from the Dominican Republic and Raleigh International staff. The team stayed with local families and worked alongside them to see this project through.

The expedition team spent two weeks digging trenches and laying pipes that brought clean running water to the people of local community, La Laguna. It was an invaluable opportunity for the team to witness first-hand the challenges faced by organic co-operative farmers and to learn how sustainable business practices can benefit them.

18 months on, inspired competition winner Oliver Rieche decided to return to the Dominican Republic and was thrilled with the warm welcome he received, and the news that the water system had made such a positive impact on their lives.

Oliver had this to say: “The beneficiaries showed us their farm and most importantly, the garden hose! They explained that the water project has been the best thing that has happened to La Laguna in recent years. They were so proud to show me the tap and I felt so proud knowing that for over a year they have been benefiting from running water for the first time in their lives”.

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