ImageSooner Rotary Club had the opportunity to meet those whose lives we have directly influenced with the presentation by Tom Cooper and the members of the Kumarana Valley Water Project. Many may remember that earlier this year Joan Barker made a trip to Bolivia to see firsthand where our dollars have been invested. This week we were able to travel via photos and personal accounts.

Pictures revealed the ruggedness of the terrain of the Andes Mountains and Potosi, Bolivia where most depend on the mining of silver for their livelihood. And therein lies the need for the water treatment project supported by our Rotary Club. As the minerals are mined the water used for the process is oxidized and unfit for human consumption. The water project involves securing by hand limestone from the mountains 2 ½ to 3 hours from Potosi and then placing the stones in targeted areas that allow water to filter through. This filtered water has been changed from a ph3 to a ph7, a level that deems it usable for the necessities of life itself.

Tom Cooper was first introduced to the needs of the people of Potosi through the OU Water Project program in 2008. Joining forces with others from the US and Potosi a campaign was started to raise the funds necessary to secure a grant from Rotary Foundation. Supported by the Norman Rotary Clubs as well as the clubs from surrounding communities, the initial funds were provided. Impressed by the vision and the opportunity Houston Rotary added their support.


Two and a half years later, Tom and his team were able to see the fruits of their labors with the laying of the first stones. The goal is to work jointly with the current mine owners who have refined the mining process so that the water is usable when the mining is completed. Within seven years, the water surrounding Potosi will be available for use by all.

Bolivian representatives from the Potosi Rotary Club were present to give to Sooner Rotary banners from their club and a banner/map of Potosi and the surrounding region.

Other news from the club: Community Service Projects: Workday at Food and Shelter for Friends.

Fellowship Committee Chairman, Steve Clark, reminded members of the upcoming hayride for the 12th of November at 6 pm. The committee will provide the goodies for the evening. Everyone is encouraged to attend and join in for the fun.

Lunch Buddies is venturing off the beaten track to Ingrid’s German Restaurant in OKC. Hailed as one of the best eateries in the city, it is sure to provide a great opportunity for fun and fellowship.