Dr. Bill Johnson and Dr. Sally Poston were the featured speakers at the group’s “club assembly” meeting, where members discussed everything from club rules to upcoming events before learning about the trip.
The first “real” Rotary trip to El Negrito, Honduras, the site of the local club’s efforts to help people have access to clean water, happened in February. Several club members traveled to raise awareness of the importance of clean water while providing a source for it at the same time.
The two speakers explained that, while many people in the area have running water in their homes, there is no government-run water treatment system in El Negrito. The water in the taps comes from a reservoir that is not clean and can even become muddy during the rainy season.
Johnson said it was necessary for the area to gain access to a water treatment system.
However, the group also held educational meetings to teach children, teens and adults the importance of drinking clean water to avoid health hazards, like parasites.
Since many already had running water that looks clean when it was not the rainy season, it was hard for some to believe they did not already have clean water to drink.
“If you grew up all your life turning on a tap, why would you go get it and drink it out of a bottle?” Johnson said.
He and Poston both said the group was able to convince people of the need for treated water and get the water treatment system up and running through partnerships with Broad Street United Methodist Church and a Nashville-based organization called The Living Water Project.
A female church pastor and her husband were left in charge of the water treatment system, and their son has been designated as the one to perform regular maintenance.
“I think we have an ideal situation here,” Poston said. “They can become sustainable.”
She explained the water house can also create a job for someone in need of work. While they are expected to give free water to organizations like a nearby nutrition center that gives food to malnourished children, whoever runs it can also sell it.
Both encouraged their fellow Rotarians to continue to support the project.
In other businesss, President Pat Fuller addressed several items the group needed to keep in mind.
One item was the club recently had a new website designed. She also reminded individuals wishing to attend the June 7 event with University of Tennessee coach Butch Jones that they can begin to order tickets at www.bradleysunriserotary.com.
Club member Lee Stewart was named a Paul Harris Fellow for his ongoing financial contributions to the Rotary organization.
The Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club is a community service organization that consists of people from a variety of fields. The Rotary International organization, of which the club is a chapter, has bylaws that dictate there be no more than seven members from the same field in order to promote diversity.