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Huanaco, Peru is a community of approximately 140 households and 600 inhabitants. The vast majority of the adults in the community work in the fields of agricultural companies, from sun-up to sun-down, six days a week, for approximately ten U.S. dollars a day.
Eighty-two percent of the homes have a latrine that was built by an organization called FONCODES thirteen years ago. Many of these latrines are no longer in working order. The other eighteen percent has no form of hygienic services.
Nineteen percent of the population in Huanaco has had a severe case of diarrhea in the past month and had to seek treatment. The three crucial components to reducing preventable cases of diarrhea are first and foremost building proper hygienic services facilities, then washing hands at critical times, and finally, improving the quality of drinking water.
The current situation creates a health, environmental and sanitation risk, which the community members fully recognize. However, the inhabitants are unable to put forth the money to construct new bathrooms for a future sewage system, nor do they have the funds to build new household latrines.
This project is being implemented under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Frieda von Qualen. Frieda worked with the Development Committee to elect the Hygiene Commission for Huanaco, made up of three men and three women. The Hygiene Commission will carry the project forward, with the support of the district municipality.
This project is to build two public bathrooms (each bathroom having a men's and a women's room), for the use of the entire community.
The project will also include educational sessions, to be attended by the entire community, to raise awareness of public health issues. These will include the construction, use, and maintenance of latrines, the importance of proper hygiene, the maintenance of a clean water supply, food preparation, and recycling.
The community has located the appropriate site for the two public bathrooms.
The community will supply the bricks, which have already been acquired. In addition they will also provide a portion of the roofing materials, unskilled manual labor, and the tools for the project.
The community made arrangements for the bricks for the buildings, and they are now available in anticipation of the start of construction.
The municipality will transport the materials to the work site, and the construction of the bathrooms will begin. An engineer from the district municipality will appoint a head worker to lead the construction.
The families have all agreed to pay a nominal monetary amount to help with the costs of the roofing materials.
The community is planning to have a faena (a day where the whole community works together on a project) to build the bathrooms. Each family will lend the tools from the household for the construction.
In total, the community is contributing approximately 34 percent of the project costs. The district municipality is also contributing approximately 17 percent of the costs through transportation of materials and skilled labor.
Maintenance of the facility by a paid person will ensure that standards of cleanliness are maintained and that the use of the bathrooms will be sustained.
This project not only provides the physical structures that will enable a more hygienic and healthier community, but also delivers an educational component that will ensure the necessary behavioral changes.
The participation of Water Charity in this project has now been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in Peru.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
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