Conclusion of Naranjo Dry Bathroom Project – Peru
This project, as part of a larger Healthy Homes and Dry Bathrooms project, was to construct 60 “dry bathrooms”, one for each family in the community.
The project's goals were to teach new skills (family hygiene, household water treatment, and illness prevention; vegetable gardening and general nutrition; waste management, composting, and recycling; and dry bathroom construction, use, and maintenance), develop management skills within the community, and reduce the village's rate of intestinal infections over time through the construction and correct use of sixty dry bathrooms.
The first goal was met; there was high community participation in meetings and trainings from start to finish, and the population showed significant knowledge retention through group "quizzes" given at each meeting.
The second goal also was met, in that the community (and particularly the five members of the Project Committee) demonstrated substantial organizational and project-planning skills, soliciting the local municipality's support when needed and resolving disputes between families, workers, and institutions at different stages throughout the project.
By the end of the project, they showed increased confidence and management capability both in working with the local municipality and with outside institutions like Peace Corps.
In regards to the final goal, the rate of reported intestinal infections must be monitored over several months (and ideally, several years) in order to make any conclusions. This will be carried out by both the Volunteer responsible for the project as well as his two replacement Volunteers in the district capital which the village belongs to.
In the end, fifty-two of the proposed sixty dry bathrooms were built, in addition to two "ventilated improved pit" latrines. Six families dropped out of the project along the way, for lack of interest or inability to provide the required materials and active participation.
The community as a whole, however, was extremely pleased with the results and many had begun using their units with 100% satisfaction. The remaining families were only missing final touches, such as the door, and planned to begin using their bathrooms as soon as possible.
Matt is continuing on as a 3rd-year volunteer at a new site in Pisco, about 4 hours south of Lima. We thank him for completing this great project, and wish him the best.
We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for our participation in this project.