Tomas Public Bathroom Project – Peru

Community of Tomas, province of Yauyos, department of Lima, Peru

Community Description
Tomas is a small community located at approximately 3,400 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The community is also located in the natural protected area “Reserva Paisajistica Nor Yauyos Cochas.”

Although the last official population count, which came from the number of registered voters with Tomas as their official residency, put the population at about 1,000 inhabitants, the actual number of people living in Tomas is closer to 300 people. The local economy is mainly based on agriculture, the major crops being potatoes and beans, and the raising of livestock, specifically, cows, sheep, and alpacas.

The majority of homes and buildings in Tomas are located on or within a few meters of two rivers, which the community straddles and which flow from the mountains all the way down to the coast and into the ocean.

As of a survey done in November of 2010, approximately half of the households in Tomas do not have a bathroom of any kind, instead relying on a series of public bathrooms located throughout the town.

Currently, all of the public bathrooms in Tomas are located directly over the river that flows through town and consist of nothing more than a hole in the floor of each stall, which allows human waste to pass directly into the river below.

Project Description
This project is to install 6 working toilets in the most centrally-located and most-used of the public bathrooms in Tomas.

The toilets will be connected to the community sewer system. This drains to one of two cement containment facilities outside of town. When one is full, the system is hooked to the other one, while the full one is allowed to sit for the waste to biodegrade to become compost.

In addition, two sinks will be installed to allow for proper hygiene. The other public toilets, which pollute the river, will be closed.

For this project, the Natural Resources Committee of Tomas (CORENA) intends to do all of the work required to install the toilets, since several of its members have extensive experience in construction and have connected toilets to the local sewer system in private homes in the past.

The community will also participate through providing additional materials necessary for the completion of the project, including PVC piping, sand, doors, and paint for the bathrooms.

Water Charity funds will be used for the purchase of 6 toilets, approximately 350 bricks, 10 bags of cement, and 2 sinks.

Following completion of the project, the Natural Resources Committee will employ someone to maintain the bathrooms, keeping them clean and functioning.

Project Impact
300 residents of Tomas will directly benefit from the project. At least 1,000 people will also benefit from the improved quality of the water passing through their villages on the way toward the ocean.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Alexandra Ogden

This project will reduce contamination of the rivers and improve water quality for the residents of Tomas. Since the downstream communities use water from the river for drinking and other household needs, they well equally benefit.

This is a very small investment for the health and safety of the residents of the province.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of the Elmo Foundation.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Alexandra Ogden of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Alexandra and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

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