Ccotos Bathroom Project – Peru

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.  

Centro Poblado Ccotos, Capachica, Puno, Peru

Community Description
Ccotos is a beautiful community on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The vibrant culture and breathtaking views of the lake make it an attractive tourist spot. Traditionally, Ccotos has been primarily an agricultural community with some fishing.  However, community members have been working to develop a tourism component. Tourism allows the community to not only maintain their traditions and culture but also share them with visitors and improve the local economy.

Problem Addressed
A major aspect of developing local tourism industry in Ccotos has been improving lodging facilities. This has included things like building and/or improving bedrooms, dining areas, and bathrooms. Two years ago, there was a project from the local government that constructed a bathroom complete with a shower, toilet, sink, outside washing station, and a biodigester to replace latrines in every household in the community. This project was incredibly helpful to the community.  However, there is not a reliable source of water in most areas of Ccotos throughout the day, which makes using the bathrooms difficult.

There are four different water systems that provide water to different sectors of the community. In some sectors, they only have water for a few hours a day and in other sectors, they have water every other day. Without running water 24 hours a day, it is not possible to consistently use these recently-constructed bathrooms. In addition to the lack of a reliable supply of water, the bathrooms are very basic and do not have a supply of hot water. Because this community is at an elevation of about 12,600 ft above sea level, taking a cold shower is not very pleasant.

4 out of the 10 members of the local tourism association Asociación Incasamana have an elevated plastic storage tank to store water during the times of day that it is available from the local water system. In addition, 6 members of the association have solar water heaters that supply hot water to their bathrooms.  However, 2 of these 6 people do not have an elevated storage tank to ensure a constant supply of water. Without an elevated water storage tank and a solar water heater, the current bathroom facilities are inadequate. Adding a solar water heater and an elevated storage tank is the first step in improving bathroom facilities for tourists. 4 out of the 10 members of the tourist association already have these two elements installed in their houses.  However, there are still improvements that can be made to their bathroom facilities.

The bathrooms constructed by the government are very basic and located outside of the house. During the night or during adverse weather conditions, tourists are not going to want to have to walk far to use the bathroom, so the next step the members would like to take to improve lodging for tourists is to build bathrooms inside their houses that are closer to the bedrooms and that are nicer than the basic bathrooms provided by the government. In addition to providing a more comfortable stay for the tourists, it will also provide more bathrooms to the houses so that if large groups come there are enough facilities for all the guests.

Project Description
This project will improve the bathroom facilities of the 10 members of the tourism association in Ccotos based on their specific needs. A 120 L solar water heater and a 1,100 L plastic storage tank will be installed on the bathrooms of the 4 community members that currently lack these.

Water Charity funds will be used to buy the solar water heater and the plastic storage tank. The installation of the solar water heater is included in the price, so the company will install the water heaters. The community members will be in charge of building a cement platform to elevate the plastic storage tanks at least 1.5 meters above the water heater on the roof of their bathrooms, buying additional tubes needed for the incoming and outgoing water supply of the storage tank, and installing the storage tank.

For the 2 members that have a solar water heater but lack an elevated water storage tank, Water Charity funds will be used to buy a 1,100 L plastic storage tank and the necessary materials the build a cement platform to elevate it 1.5 meters above the existing water heater on the roof of their bathrooms. Community members will be responsible for constructing the cement platform and installing the storage tank.

The remaining 4 members that already have a solar water heater and elevated storage tank are interested in constructing an additional bathroom. Water Charity funds will be used to buy various materials for the bathroom including a toilet, sink, shower, tubes for water and sewage connections, and materials necessary to install ceramic on the floors and on the walls to a height of 1.8 m. Association members will be responsible for supplying materials and labor to build the actual structure of the bathroom, buying any additional materials they need to complete the bathroom in addition to the materials provided from Water Charity funds, and providing the labor to install the materials bought using Water Charity funds.

Project Impact
58 people in 10 households will benefit from this project

Community Organization
Asociación Pro-DIA will work with La Asociación Incasamana de Ccotos on project implementation

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
The project will be administered by Ralph Bolton, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Peru,’62-’65), and founder and director of The Chijnaya Foundation. Work will be done under the direction of Chijnaya’s operational arm, Asociación Pro-DIA, a legally-constituted Peruvian counterpart. On-the-ground work is being managed by Kimmy Mazza, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Peru,’16-’18). The work of Ralph and Kimmy with Peace Corps Peru spans over half a century. This project is a part of the Altiplano Water Program – Peru

Monitoring and Maintenance
Community members will provide funds sufficient to maintain the bathroom facilities, conduct repairs, and install replacements when necessary. Because this project involves providing materials to individuals and not building something to benefit the entire community, rotating loan funds will be applied. An important value of the Chijnaya Foundation, the NGO administering this project, is that community development should come from the community and simply giving money or materials can be unsustainable in the long run.

Rotating loan funds are like a regular loan in that the community must pay back the money and interest rates are applied. However, the funds they pay back will remain in the community as a source of funding for future community projects. For this project, Water Charity funds will be used to buy materials to improve the bathrooms of the members of the tourism association, but the members benefiting from the project must pay back half of the total cost of the project and this money will be put into their rotating loan fund. The Asociación Pro DIA will monitor the rotating loan fund and provide technical assistance for future projects.

Project Funding
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