Melanie Reda is a Peace Corps Volunteer, working in Aldea Saquiya, Municipio of Patzún, Chimaltenango, Guatemala. She is undertaking a project to construct a water deposit, and install eight faucets and three flushable toilets at the Julio Verne Elementary School.
"The community has recently been connected to the local drainage and public water. The school has the opportunity to construct projects that will prove to be sustainable for years to come. By connecting the water system of the school to the public water system, the school would be able to count on water 100% of the time.
"The purpose of the water deposit is to allow water to be stored until the construction and paving of the highway is completed. This construction has cut the school off from water more than three days a week due to pipes being damaged. Thus the need for a water deposit remains.
"Although the school has existing toilets, they are drained into a seepage pit. The pit is nearly full due to the constant usage and would prove to be a potential contaminant if use were continued. Constructing three additional toilets and connecting them to public drainage would put an end to the contamination and threat of future contamination.
"Additionally the one hundred students and six teachers that attend the Julio Verne Elementary School would be able to practice hygienic habits including tooth brushing and hand washing with the implementation of the faucets. As the situation stands the school only has access to one faucet to be used for all cleaning, cooking, and hygienic practices."
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