On April 23-24, 2016, AmCham Southwest representatives visited Lizi Village in rural Sichuan where AmCham partnered with the Chinese Relief and Development Foundation (CRDF) to sponsor a fresh drinking water project. The project provides a sustainable source of fresh water to Lizi Village’s 80 families, serving a total of 280 people. In 2015, AmCham donated 40 percent of the proceeds from the American Independence Day Charity Celebration to CRDF, providing half the needed funding for the water project. The other 60 percent of the proceeds went to Hopeful Hearts, a charity that funds life-saving heart surgeries for needy children.
In 2015, CRDF identified Lizi Village’s water source as vulnerable to depletion and contamination. Villagers could collect water from two sources, both of which often dried up during droughts and were not sufficiently sealed against debris and agricultural runoff. CRDF created a project plan and began raising funds, submitting a budget proposal to the AmCham board in the winter of 2015. After the board’s approval, CRDF’s engineers began construction of a system of drinking water reservoirs and pipes for the citizens of Lizi Village.
CRDF invited AmCham representatives to visit Lizi Village upon the project’s completion in April 2016. Engineers had constructed large concrete tanks to collect and store fresh rainwater and spring water. The reservoirs will continuously collect water, providing the villagers with a sustainable and clean supply. A system of pipes connects the reservoirs to smaller tanks outside each family’s home from which they can collect the water they need for drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing.
The drinking water system is a marked improvement from the inconvenient and unreliable water sources available before the project. The reservoirs and pipes are made of durable materials and Lizi Village’s citizens have agreed to fund the system’s upkeep. AmCham representatives believe this successful project will improve the villagers’ quality of life. We are proud to partner with CRDF in its efforts to aid those in need throughout Sichuan and the wider Southwest China community.