Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do you think it will work? - It'll take a miracle.

The real work has begun:

Now that the Latrine Committee has organized the families and how to divide up materials, we are constructing 4 composting latrines in my community.

The rock, sand, concrete, rebar, forms, etc has already arrived from the donor agency, ANAM: Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente

My counterpart and I have almost finished the first latrine - hooray!

The controversial idea of this latrine style does not worry me. Will this project prove sustainable? I think it will, we'll see of course, but the conditions/sentiment in this community seem right.

The 4 sites are all located on the lowlands of the Río Santa Lucia, an area that had seen heavy flooding several decades ago. The water table is at a permanent high and easily discovered after a few shovel-fuls of earth. Where the ground isn't boggy, it's rocky and difficult to dig. Pit latrines in this area are not successful - this fact compounded recently when the 4 latrines of the school overflowed during a heavy rainstorm.

The interest in free fertilizer is also strong. The majority of the people maintain small gardens (or clusters of banana) or larger crops higher in the campo on rented land.

It only remains for me to train a few more people how to block and work concrete and this project will carry itself to victory!

Exciting, eh?

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