Sanitation work started in Prolit
Last week we started work on our first sanitation unit in Prolit village which is slowly but surely taking shape. Ecodana helped us to raise the funds for this first compost toilet, so you can read more detailed updates on how the construction is going on their website. We’ve now finished the foundations, laid all of the bricks and finished the floor so all that remains is to build the walls, the roof and install the shower unit and the compost toilet. We also did a bit of agricultural work next to the sanitation unit. The aim is that each unit has a run off area for the waste water/grey water so that it can be used productively to provide irrigation for a small plot of crops. Next to the sanitation unit was a bunch of banana trees, however they were all spaced too close together and so were competing for the limited nutrients in the soil and so none of them had been able to bear fruit. So we cleared the ground, cut down about half of them, chopped them up and then fed them back to the remaining trees as compost. Hopefully now the trees that are left will grow much stronger and will be producing bananas before too long. We’re also hoping that the rest of the community takes notice and starts doing the same for the hundreds of other banana trees in the village that are growing the same way!
We had our first training session with our new trainer, Savin, which went very well. All of the families who are responsible for the toilet attended and learned about the importance of good sanitation and hygiene, the dangers of not using a toilet, the basics of composting and how to use the compost toilet properly. We will be providing a training session for all the families that are responsible for each sanitation unit and water pump that we install for this project. You can view some photos of the work we’ve been doing in the slideshow below.
Over the past two weeks, Savin, myself, Jaimie (a new volunteer from the States) and Vinh have also been working on carrying out a baseline survey of the families in Prolit. The aim of this is to collect data on as many families as we can so that we can paint a more detailed picture of exactly what the community needs and where. We’ve now finished collecting all the data and have managed to cover over 170 of the 196 families that live in Prolit! We’ve learned lots of interesting things about the community, including:
- 143 families are currently using no form of toilet at all
- Over 50 families are currently accessing their water from ponds or simple holes in the ground, of which 31 of these currently have no access to a water filter
- The most common illnesses came out as diarrhoea/stomach aches, headaches/dizziness and chest infections, all of which can be attributed to issues to do with water supply and/or poor sanitation
- 136 families claimed they were currently spending more money on food than they were earning, causing a huge number to take out loans to pay for food, which they have to pay back at an interest rate of over 40%. Paying medical bills to cure illnesses was another top reason why people had to take out loans
- The top problems that were related to us were: lack of food, lack of clean water, no toi