Solar-powered Water System, Latrines, Fuel-Efficient Stoves, and Health/Hygiene Education: San Juan de Pablo & Trinidad

Applicant El Porvenir Plan ID: 190
Status: approved_accepted Review Cycle end date: 2010-08-26

Install solar electric powered pump gravity distribution system; reforest watershed; train in hygiene practices and sustainable environmental practices; install 93 latrines; construct 10 fuel efficient stoves


110 families
114 women
133 men
84 boys
90 girls


93 families
96 women
102 men
71 boys
74 girls


Health and Hygiene Education is a component of all of our projects, so all beneficiaries will receive this training.

10 families involved in reforestation efforts will also construct a fuel-efficient stove that uses 60% less wood than a typical stove.

Drinking Water - Community
Sanitation - Households


San Lorenzo

Project Narrative

This project will benefit the communities of San Juan de Pablo and Trinidad, located in the San Lorenzo Muncipality of the department of Boaco. These communities are too small and remote to receive assistance from other organizations.

San Juan de Pablo and Trinidad are Spanish-speaking Mestizo communities that live in extreme poverty surviving on less than $50 a month. They depend on subsistence agriculture and livestock activities for their livelihood, or work as day laborers in neighboring regions. Although they have a primary school, it is quite rudimentary without running water or bathrooms. Aside from the primary school, this community is highly disenfranchised and lacks access to all basic services (drinking water, sanitation, electricity, phones, hospitals etc.)

The current water sources for the communities are artisanal water holes along the side of the river. These water holes are highly polluted as they are used for watering livestock, bathing, and washing clothes. As a result the water is not fit for human consumption. Currently, families must travel from 100 meters up to 1 kilometer to bring water to their houses. The communities also lack adequate sanitation, as latrines are either non-existent or are in such a deteriorated condition so as to be unusable.

Project preparation (Done by community)
-Identify and commit local resources (animals to transport materials, construction materials, labor etc.)
-Community assume responsibility for ongoing repair and maintenance of facilities
-Conduct survey of existing water and sanitation facilities and needs assessment
-Identify volunteers for community sanitation committee, define roles and responsibilities
-Prepare written proposal (needs assessment, identification of site location, budget and cost estimates)
-Create community labor schedule for project

Construction of water & Sanitation infrastructure- Community learns how to build and maintain drinking water and sanitation infrastructure
-Purchase and transport construction materials to community by truck and animals
-Provide training and technical assistance to community in construction, maintenance and repair of electric pumping water systems and latrines (upkeep and repair of pumps, proper cleaning of latrines and tanks, water testing and treatment, etc.)
-Build latrines (hand dig pits to depth of up to 9 feet, line with rocks, bricks or stones, install precast concrete slab and box seat, create walls and roof from zinc panels)
-Install a solar pumping water system. This consists of solar panels, a solar pump that will pump to a distribution tank that will in turn distribute water via gravity flow to the families.

El Porvenir has nearly 20 years of experience helping rural Nicaraguan communities build appropriate technology (wells, latrines, community washing stations, and fuel efficient stoves) as well as providing communities with the tools they need to manage their water, sanitation and forestry resources. The methodology of El Porvenir is based on three key principles: (a) community empowerment through active participation and ownership in all aspects of the project, (b) creation of sustainable organizations in the community to manage resources in the long term, and (c) focus on appropriate technology made from low-cost locally available materials that can be maintained by the community.

Latrines will be built first, then the water system, and then reforestation.

Usually the communities are organized even before applying to El Porvenir for a project; El Porvenir does not undertake any project unless we receive a handwritten request from the community. If the community does not have Potable Water Committee (CAP) then other existing structures (if any) in the community are viewed to see they want to become the CAP for their community, otherwise a new committee is created. The community is trained in community organizing technique and committee functioning.

Community ownership is felt by the community through its identification of its problem, and their involvement in the sweat equity of the project.

All water project areas are legalized before beginning any construction. Latrines are built on the property of each family, so each family owns their own latrine through their labor of building it.

This project is not connected to government programs.

Health and Hygiene Education: Community learns how to reduce water and sanitation related illnesses through good hygiene practices.
-Identify and train local hygiene and health promoters from the community to reinforce hygiene trainings on an ongoing basis
-Carry out household visits and community workshops to help the community to identify risky behaviors and learn good hygiene practices. Topics covered include: Definition of hygiene, 10 rules for using latrines, Why sanitation is important, Water and sanitation related diseases, The cycle of contamination, Why hand-washing is important, How to maintain and dispose of garbage, How to use and maintain wells and community washing stations, How to treat and use water, Sources of water contamination, Role and responsibilities of Community Water and Sanitation Committee members, Con
-Create and air health and hygiene announcements on local radio stations to reinforce community health learning and to reach a larger audience.
-Organize community clean up days to reinforce training about environmental sanitation and waste management
-Collect data from local clinics and health centers on incidence of water and sanitation related diseases (diarrhea, skin infections etc.)

Reforestation- Community learns how to increase infiltration and aquifer recharge and to prevent landslides and soil erosion through reforestation and conservation.
-Through field visits, talks and classroom activities adults and children from the village learn about the relationship between trees and water, the importance of the microwatershed to the sustainability of the village well.
-Provide each family with a set of 5 grafted fruit trees to plant in their yards, which will generate fruit within 2 years, as an incentive to preserve trees
-Provide materials and training to the families for the construction of fuel efficient cookstoves that use 60% less firewood than traditional open air woodburning stoves.
-Identify land to be donated for conservation and reforesting
-Map out conservation area (with support of EP reforestation worker) so that community is aware of the boundaries
-Set up community seedling nursery and later transplant seedlings to conservation area
-Fence off and legalize conservation area in the name of the community if possible

-access to clean drinking water and sanitation
-reduction in time spent and distance traveled carrying water
-reduction in incidence of water and sanitation related diseases (skin infections, parasites, bacterial infections, diarrhea etc.)
-reduction in firewood used for cooking fuel
-water table protected through sustainable management of watershed/conservation area

In order to measure the impact of our projects, we collect data several times a year from clinics serving rural districts where we have a high concentration of projects: number of visits due to diarrhea, etc. As the number decreases we feel that hygiene education has been effective.

No photos uploaded

Project Financials


The revised budget reflects that the latrines are complete and asks for funding for just completing the solar pumping water system.


Co-funders include Episcopal Relief and Development, Ann Campana Judge Foundation, Atkinson Foundation, and Niles Foundation. And 13,149 from Municipalilty


We estimate that the project will require 8,120 person days of labor, which will be provided by the beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis.


Project Sustainability and Impact Assessment

The community has agreed that each member will pay a quota each month for the water systems maintenance (20 córdobas, approximately $1). This amount will go to the maintenance fund which will be maintained by the treasurer of the potable water committee and will be put into a bank account if it reaches 1,500 córdobas (U$82). El Porvenir will assist the community in opening a bank account if necessary. Each family is responsable for the maintenance of the their latrines.

The ongoing cost to El Porvenir is providing hygiene education.


Implementer Details (if other than applicant)

Application Summary

Applicant :   El Porvenir
Status : approved_accepted
Country : NICARAGUA Map


Amount Funded :   $19,839
Funded By:-
Blue Planet Network : $19,839
Funds Used
: $19,839
Funds Available
: $0

Projects Summary of Application

Number of Projects : 1
Overall Start Date : TODO!
Overall Completion Date : TODO!
Date of Last Update :