What’s new on Eco-Toilet,
Building in Bolivia is always a challenge, due the altitude and the distance!
On this first period, we focused on trying to have counterparts of the municipality.
Why is it important?
Our technical team, has working hard. They had a lot of workshop, explaining the importance of having first of all toilet. Because in rural area, the people use to do it in open fields. And of course they don’t have the washing hands habits!
For question of salubrity, hygiene and health it’s really important that the people realize they have to make a change in their life. It’s not always easy to change our habits. Especially when you, your family, your grandparents and all the community have done it, that way, since like forever.
That was a really big challenge for our team. And next challenge was to explain why to build their own Eco-Toilet.
And why Self-building?
At the same time, we analyze the quality of the water of the population. Because we want to have a comprehensive project that include also safe drinking water and hygiene.
So far we have located 7 families willing to build their own Eco-Toilet ! We are really excited beginning the construction !!
With warm greetings from the whole project team.
With some students (10 to 14 years old) we had a workshop, asking them what they drink all day long.
It was really interesting to know that almost all students never or quite never drink water. The reason is that the water is contaminated with bacteria and iron. The problem of bacteria is that students are often sick from diarrhea and consequences they do not attend school. If they are small children (under 5 years) it can lead to death caused by dehydration, for example. The problem of iron, is a lack in growth among others.
This is why, the technical team, is going to install in each class room a filter, a safe drinking water filter. Until now the school had only some water bottle.
We did a small exercise, and through comparing numbers, we concluded that each 850 school kids may have 120 milliliters per day, not even a whole glass of water per day!! That means, that they have to drink from another source of water, like tap water, who is contaminated!
With the installation of safe drinking water filter in each class room, the kids may drink up to 750 milliliters per day.
In the few next days, we will start workshops and training on the use of drinking water and some hygiene practices.
Many thanks for your support and warm greetings from the whole team
Throughout each months of December, the Fundación SODIS proceeded to an evaluation of the WASH project (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, HASS in Spanish) in the Educational Units (E.U.) of Tiquipaya. The outcomes of this evaluation will here be reported.
In order for the Educational Units to practice WASH throughout the entire scholar year, it is necessary that they have the appropriate infrastructures for the supply of drinkable water, personal hygiene and sanitation.
Overall, it has been observed that the E.U. of Tiquipaya have proven that they can use and maintain the infrastructures necessary for the practice of WASH, which were introduced during the project.
Water quality analysis performed while visiting the E.U. in the diagnostic phase of the project, showed fecal contaminations in the principal source of drinking water in almost three quarters of the schools (26 out of 36).
These results demonstrated the urgent necessity of treating water at all time. A strategy was thus developed with on one side two methods of water treatment:
- Sun-rays based disinfection, SODIS (Solar Disinfection) Method,- Chlorine-based disinfection (Mini Wata)
and on the other side the creation of a "Safe Water Corner" in all class rooms. This strategy was a complete success.
The Fundación SODIS observed in December that a large majority of the infrastructures used in the treatment and storage of water were in a good condition and found in strategically placed areas of the Educational Units. SODIS method, for example, was mostly applied on the SODIS platforms which were installed during the project.Those E.U. having to treat bigger volumes of water with the SODIS method, built extra platform with calamine, otherwise, they used their roof and outer walls. With the exception of two cases, the Mini-Wata showed good functioning in the Educational Units.
Almost half of the Educational Units (17/36) have, as required by the OMS standards, at least one bathroom for every 25 female students and one bathroom for every 50 male students. In 25 of the E.U. all bathrooms were functioning while in 4 E.U. one was damaged and in 7 E.U. two or more had undergone degradations.
WASH management involves the organization of WASH practices, the maintenance of WASH infrastructures, the formation of the teachers and students to WASH practice, monitoring of WASH practices and activities WASH with the parents and the community.
In Tiquipaya, a "Safe Water" committee was formed in each Educational Units to organize WASH practices, their monitoring and the formation of the people involved. The committee is made of 1 to 2 teaches and 5 to 20 student. In some of the E.U. a member of the direction or administration was also part of the committee. When the Fundación SODIS visited the E.U., over 80% of the committees were still in place, assuming the responsibility for most WASH activities. However, none of the committees organized them all, only a fraction of these activities. Most of the committees focused on the application of the WASH practices, for example, preparing the concentrated chlorine for water purification. Moreover, the training to the WASH was mainly accomplished by the teachers and not by the committees. Almost 60% of the Educational Units (21/37) said they used the text book "Escuelas con Agua Segura" (Schools with Safe Water) for the formation to WASH.
The Safe Water committees are key elements to a successful WASH management. It is possible that these committees may come to disappear if they do not receive help. The use of WASH textbooks and of forms was unsatisfactory. Shorter and clearer documents are required.
It is why in 2016 we will focused in the lower results to be able to reach even more the E.U. and the students themselves.
We thank you in advance for your support. And feel free to reach us if you have some questions and comments!