Santa Rosa de Cucunati Latrine Project – Panama

Santa Rosa de Cucunati, District of Chepigana, Province of Darien, Panama

Community Description
Santa Rosa de Cucunati is an Embera indigenous community outside the comarca located in the Darien province of Panama. The population has 129 men, women and children, and there are 25 houses. There is a school located in Santa Rosa that has 35 students and 2 teachers.

Santa Rosa de Cucunati Latrine Project – Panama

The people in the community make money as fishermen, traveling only thirty minutes by boat to the Pacific Ocean. Usually, families go to an island called Isla Peñal and stay for four nights. The families that do not fish work on a farm as a worker for weeks at a time. In addition to fishing, families plant yucca, plantain, banana and rice.

The community of Santa Rosa has an aqueduct that was built by the Ministry of Health in 1996. However, deforestation has caused the quantity of water to decrease significantly in recent years.

Problem Addressed
There are only 8 latrines in the community. The 6 pit latrines fill with water during the rainy season due to the high water table. There are 2 composting latrines from a pilot project.

People in the community who do not have latrines or a neighbor with a latrine use the river.

Project Description
This project is part of a larger effort to build 12 composting latrines in the community.

The composting latrine technology is effective in keeping contaminants from entering the water supply and from spreading disease-causing waste from during the rainy season. It also produces fertilizer as a byproduct.

Under the direction of the Sanitation Group, members of the community will provide labor and local materials as well as a small monetary contribution.

Each household will be required to have at least one worker to assist with not only their latrine but the others in the work group.

Santa Rosa de Cucunati Latrine Project – PanamaWater Charity funds will be used to pay for the materials for 3 composting latrines, including cement, rebar, nails, zinc sheets, and PVC piping, and also the labor of skilled craftsmen.

Community members will have to attend 4 meetings covering 3 topics including the expectations of the project, a two day health seminar covering hand washing and disease vector transmission, and a construction and maintenance meeting.

Project Impact
130 people will benefit from the entire project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Shayla Smith

The composting latrine project will prevent contamination of the river and improve the overall sanitation in the community, thus reducing disease.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0 – This project has been funded through the generosity of Wilco Krul, of Einhoven, Netherlands.

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.