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Peace Corps Volunteer Improves Water Quality in Peru

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2012 – Peace Corps volunteer Eliot Jones of Durham, N.H., is working with his local community to develop a water quality monitoring program that will track water contamination on the Northwestern coast of Peru. A portion of the funds for the project will be raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that helps support Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide.

“We will begin by taking monthly water samples in several different locations to screen for fecal contamination and E. coli bacteria,” said Jones, a graduate of Eckerd College who has been working as an environment volunteer since September 2010. “It’s very important to track contamination, especially because the beaches in this area are populated with swimmers, surfers and regular beach goers.”

Magnifying glass iconPeruvian community members taking water samples to screen for bacteria.If left untreated, bacterial contamination can lead to a variety of waterborne diseases and health problems. Testing water samples in the surrounding area will allow Jones and his community to identify bodies of water that are clean and those that require contamination treatment.

The PCPP funds will be used to buy tests kits, an incubator, a UV lamp, and pay for labor and materials from The Peruvian Ocean Institute. The data gathered during the first phase of the project will help determine whether to expand the project to additional regions across Peru.

Magnifying glass iconPeruvian community members taking water samples to screen for bacteria.In order to receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Those interested in supporting Jones’ project in Peru can visit: www.peacecorps.gov/donate. Jones’ project number is: 527-082.

About Peace Corps/Peru: More than 3,050 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Peru since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 299 volunteers serve in Peru. Volunteers work in the areas of youth development, small business development, health and environment. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish, and some receive language training in Quechua.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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