SODIS Foundation

To develop and promote solutions for improving drinking water quality and health. For achieving this, we cooperate with the private, public and development sector in order to benefit people in Latin America.
Mar 10, 2016

Starting 2016

Dear supporter,

Always in the SODIS Foundation we have been lucky and have opportunities to work with volunteers.

The Foundation greatly appreciates volunteering, because it always gives us a different vision of the work we do with new eyes. Bringing new strategies and knowledge.

This beginning of the year after annual holidays, classes began again in February, with the first national event, carnival !

Now is the time to star the main key activities of the project:

  • Handwashing
  • Corner of safe water
  • SODIS method
  • Training

You may ask, why do we have to redo these activities who have to be already an integral part of everyday life ?

For some very important reasons:

  • Many times at the beginning of the school year there is a direction change
  • There are also new teachers who have not assimilated the concepts of safe water consumption.
  • And because it's always good to refresh knowledge, and start the year in the best possible way.

And this year we start with the help of 2 volunteers who are going to supported us in various scheduled activities:

  • 1 volunteer is planning to visit all schools in order to strength knowledge but also to give a manual made for teachers -  training in safe water. He will also conduct workshops to train teachers and students and especially new students of the importance of drinking safe water and hand washing. He will also check that the solar disinfection method "SODIS" with PET bottles continues and they are doing it the correct way.
  • 1 volunteer is running a pilot project on menstrual hygiene for girls between 9 and 17 years. We really hope that this pilot project would be successful in order to spread it in other schools. She will spoke about menstruation itself and methods of hygiene and making homemade sanitary pads.

As you can see it is a season start of activities, coordination with different schools. planning, due to the holidays. These activities actually willn begin in April. 

We thank you in advance for your support. And feel free to reach us if you have some questions and comments!

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

Feb 4, 2016

What's new in Eco-Toilet

What’s new on Eco-Toilet,

 

Dear supporter,

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?

  • Counting on counterparts we insure that the project will have a bigger impact and will be sustainable! Because commitment is the key. So far we have been able to count on a small financial help, and some human resource. Nothing "big", but at least, we can see that the municipality is open minded about the Project. Is now a question of time and patience … 

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.

Why Eco-Toilet?

  • An Eco-toilet is a toilet that uses no water for evacuation of urine and faeces. The eco toilet system has been developed a lot in recent years.
  • The treatment of wastewater is a problem that becomes more important every day. Eco toilets do not require water to function and are not connected to the sewage network. They are very effective biologically, and leveraging human waste and promote the domestic economy, saving money and energy.

And why Self-building?

  • Because if you have to do it yourself, you are going “respect” it better, and take care of what you have built.
  • And also, you can built it as you want, the style you want …

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.

Performing surveys
Performing surveys
Water analysis (on the left contaminated)
Water analysis (on the left contaminated)
At community school
At community school
Dec 10, 2015

Year-End report

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

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. 

Sanitation

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

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!

With warm greetings from the whole project team.

 

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