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Recovery of the Circuit of Four Lakes
Posted on by:
Yachay Wasi, Inc. [NGO]

Location: Andes of Peru

Topic: Sustainable Development

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The First Phase of an Environmental and Sustainable Development project by Yachay Wasi is implemented after grants by Rotary Foundation, USA and Rotary District 9500, Australia were received in August 2007

This environmental and educational project is geared to the recovery of the "Circuit of Four Lakes" located in the province of Acomayo, in the department of Cusco, in the Andes of Peru.

These lakes are Laguna Acopia near the village of Acopia - native village of Luis Delgado Hurtado, Co-founder and President of Yachay Wasi -, Lagunas Pampamarca and Asnacocha near the village of Mosoqllaqta, Laguna Pomacanchi near the village of Pomacanchi. These villages and many smaller communities located near these lakes rely on these waters. There are several Indigenous communities living near these lakes with a 2002 estimated population of 25,518 inhabitants. The lakes are located at an altitude of 3600 meters. The contamination of these lakes has been a growing problem over the past few years. The lakes waters are not used for drinking, but the fish, a daily staple from these lakes, can become a potential health hazard.

A study was funded and conducted by Yachay Wasi in August 2004.

Extent of contamination of the lakes and of the impact on the environment in the area was investigated. Seven Laboratory tests were performed on the waters of Lake Acopia (near banks and center of lake). During the fieldwork accomplished around the four lakes, coordination was realized with local mayors to establish prior and informed consent.

Project has the goal to clean the lakes waters and banks of these four lakes of existing solid trash and to prevent further chemical contamination from modern detergents and pharmaceutical discards; to recover the biological diversity, flora and fauna representative of this important site; to educate and assist the communities on ways to prevent future contamination, which will include building better septic tanks and laundry facilities in some villages.

Funded by Rotary International, the First Phase of Project is implemented

First phase consisted of cleaning the waters and banks (over ground and underground) of Lake Pomacanchi, then Lake Acopia. Environmental Education of communities around these two lakes took place while the work was being done. Rotary Club del Cusco managed the Rotary Grant locally in cooperation with Yachay Wasi, Cusco which implemented the work.

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