What’s TASCA up to right now?

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RESTARTING

TASCA has renewed its mission and work after being dormant due to the untimely death in 2016 of our main support, Dr. Robert Harvey. Dr. Harvey had registered TASCA in another state and restarting TASCA in Minnesota required applying for official status as an NGO in Minnesota. Additionally TASCA was required to file with the IRS to be recognized as a tax exempt entity.

TASCA applied for and was granted status as an officially recognized NGO (Non Governmental Organization-501 (c) (3) by the State of Minnesota on 07/01/2020. Our status with the United States IRS (Internal Revenue Service) was officially recognized in 2021. All donations to TASCA are tax exempt. The tax exempt (EIN) number of TASCA is 85-4238106 and according to the IRS “Donors can deduct contributions they make under IRC Section 170.”

July 2021-October 2021

PROJECT UPDATE

As of the first of October, the long time TASCA water technician Marlon Castro, has departed for a different job with the government. He has been replaced by two people, both civil engineers-Giselle Romero and Roberto Vargas. They have been trained by our project director Sergio Romero and are currently active in the field.

Since the Rotary grant ended, TASCA has relied on individual donations for our operating expenses. So far we have managed to create enough funding through our friends to continue the project, and we continue to seek larger donors and more consistent funding through a variety of sources.

December 2020-July 2021

ROTARY CLUBS OF MINNESOTA GRANT

TASCA began the year 2021 with a grant from Rotary Clubs of Minnesota to install The Manual Chlorinator in rural drinking water systems in Nicaragua. The goal was to install one chlorinator per week in the northern Departments (similar to a county in the US) of Jinotega and Matagalpa. During the six month duration of the project the experienced TASCA team of Sergio Romero and Marlon Castro with accounting support from Marta Lorena Largaespada installed 23 Manual Chlorinators beginning in late December 2020 and ending at the end of June, 2020. These Manual Chlorinators will supply clean drinking water to approximately 25,000 households, serving a total population of 125,000 people.

TASCA has just received news that the Rotary grant will continue for another month, due to the project coming in under budget. This should amount to another 4 chlorinator installations with the project being extended until June 26. These new communities receiving chlorinators are small, located near the Atlantic coast, with little access to resources. The Chlorinator is a welcome addition to the health care system in that remote region.

Another aspect of the current Rotary supported project is to resupply communities with chlorine tablets used in The Chlorinator. There are communities with previous chlorinator installations that did not have access to buying tablets because TASCA was reorganizing and inactive. Part of the current Rotary grant includes financing for buying and delivering chlorine tablets to rehabilitate nearly 200 previously installed chlorinators with the needed tablets.

COVID

Recognizing that the COVID-19 virus has affected life everywhere on the planet, it is no different in Nicaragua. The advantage the TASCA team has over the virus is that our work is in rural areas that have not been seriously affected by people having contracting the disease. Having said that, our water technician Marlon Castro became infected with the Corona virus and had to take two weeks off to recover. As of October the virus was spreading rapidly in Nicaragua according to personal reports from friends in different parts of the country. Lack of access to vaccines is a big reason for the current spread.

The effect in the rural areas is mostly economically so many of the communities desiring chlorinator installations are given the option of a long term, no interest payment. The benefits of chlorinated water include the advantage of clean hand washing which is critical in combating the COVID virus. TASCA is proud to know that our Manual Chlorinator is front and center in combating the current Pandemic and hand washing also prevents a variety of other transmissible diseases.

Sergio Romero with face protection working with the community Horizonte Azul on a chlorinator installation. Jinotega, 2021.

THE NICARAGUAN TEAM

Below: The small but extraordinarily effective team of (l. to r.) Marlon Castro, Sergio Romero, and Marta Lorena Largaespada. Matagalpa, 2021.

Below: Marta Lorena Largaespada organizing the accounting reports for the Chlorinator Project. Matagalpa, 2021.

Including the current project and all previous chlorinator installations under the direction of project Director Sergio Romero, TASCA will have installed a total of almost 400 chlorinators. These chlorinators supply a population of 450,000 people in the rural Nicaraguan Departments of Jinotega and Matagalpa with uncontaminated drinking water.

What the three person team has is accomplished is admirable considering that Sergio and Marlon had to reintroduce the project to the rural communities. First they had to notify the communities that we were once again back in business, then visit communities explaining how the project worked, additionally train the community water committees in the construction, installation and maintenance of a chlorinator, and finally be available for follow up.

Below: Marlon Castro on the Atlantic Coast making a chlorinator delivery to a small community by horseback. Bocana de PaĆ­was, 2021.

Below: Sergio demonstrating the chlorinator at a workshop in Matagalpa. 2004.