Conclusion of Candela and Majagua Latrine Project – Panama
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Lyndsey Bunting. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to construct 5 new public pit latrines, 2 in the community of Candela and 3 in the community of Majagua.
With the help from Appropriate Projects, we were able to successfully construct 5 public pit latrines in two difficult-to-access communities, Candela and Majagua, which are located in the indigenous region of the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle in Panama. At the request of community members, the latrines were constructed in central meeting locations such as a church, health center, kindergarten and common meeting areas.
Community members dug 5 holes, each measuring 1 meter long by 1 meter wide and 4 to 5 meters deep. The concrete for the platform was mixed and poured close to the hole using 2 x 4s to create a frame. A rebar frame was included in the platform to provide strength and durability. Rebar was also used to create handles, making the platform moveable.
In the future when the hole fills, the latrine design allows community members to move the platform and privacy shelter to a new hole – making all materials re-usable.
Concrete was poured into a specially-built mold used to create the toilet seat. Once the seat and floor were dry, the platform was moved to cover the hole and the seat was placed on top of the platform.
For the privacy structure, community members began by erecting a wooden frame and then attaching the zinc siding and roof. Doors were later constructed and attached using either zinc or wood.
Funds from Water Charity were used to purchase concrete, nails, rebar, wire, zinc for the roofs and tools that were not available in the community.
Each community was responsible for providing the materials that were locally available including recycled zinc for the siding and doors in some cases or otherwise wooden planks, 2 x 4s for the frames, tools that were readily available in the community, gravel and sand for the concrete mix, all labor and transportation from the drop-off point, 1 to 2 hours away.
Each household that benefited from the project participated in the construction of the latrines. Participants learned basic sanitation practices and basic construction concepts in addition to basic project planning and management skills.
Community members and I are extremely grateful to Appropriate Projects for providing the funds necessary to complete this project. After the construction of the latrines, community members now have a safe and private place to go to the bathroom. Thank you!
We wish to thank Lyndsey for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.