plan 427Double pit latrines in El Guanacaste, El Sauce, Nicaragua

Summary

84 families (71 homes) have no latrines; eleven others have facilities in decent condition.The 84 families without latrines use other families' latrines so as to avoid open defecation.

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Background

El Guanacaste is a semi-rural community about 3 miles from the town of El Sauce. There is a big need for sanitation implementation in this area. Of the 97 homes there, only 11 have adequate sanitation. Many are borrowing neighbors latrines or practicing open defecation.

The people of El Guanacaste are mainly government workers like teachers or health workers in the town of El Sauce.

El Guanacaste has not previously received assistance from El Porvenir. The community has home connections to a local water system managed by ENACAL (the national water company).

The community has offered to contribute their labor to build the latrines, and also to contribute the bricks and the sand for the construction.

Location

El Sauce, León, Nicaragua

Attachments

  • Xls BPN_Budg...

Focus

Primary Focus: Sanitation - Households
Secondary Focus: Hygiene Education

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 0

School Children Getting Water: 0

People Getting Sanitation: 313

71 homes
84 families
110 men
104 women
99 children

There are also 11 homes with decent latrines facilities and 15 homes that are vacant, their inhabitants have migrated, mostly to Costa Rica, seeking work.

People Getting Other Benefits: 357

Hygiene and sanitary education workshops to ensure improved health in the community as well as proper use and maintenance of latrines. This is carried out through our train-the-trainer program. In each community, at least 2 volunteers are trained to reproduce the workshops in their communities. Through the construction of the project, masonry skills are acquired that will help with the long term maintenance. Special emphasis in the community education will be given to the rotation of the pits. Several families already have latrines, but they will still be invited to participate in the educational process.

Application Type: Project Funding

Start Date: 2012-11-01

Completion Date: 2013-05-03

Technology Used:

El Porvenir has over 22 years of experience helping rural Nicaraguan communities build appropriate technology (wells with rope pumps, latrines, community washing stations, and fuel efficient stoves) as well as providing communities with the tools they need to manage their water, sanitation and watershed 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.

El Porvenir projects are demand driven, i.e. the local office of all Nicaraguan staff responds to requests from the community. Once staff verifies the need and feasibility of the project. Funds are sought. The municipal authorities and the local community also contribute towards project materials usually by purchasing or collecting local materials. When the remaining funds are available, the construction phase can begin.

The community learns how to build and maintain water and sanitation infrastructure themselves.
-Construction materials are purchased and transported to the community by truck and animals
-El Porvenir provides training and technical assistance to the community in construction, maintenance and repair of latrines
-The community builds latrines (hand dig two pits per latrine to depth of 6 feet/2 meters, line with blocks, bricks or stones, install precast concrete slab and box seat, create walls and roof from zinc panels, install ventilation tube with flyscreen).

The superstructure shells are made of zinc and metal, so as to be easily reused (and moved) when the first pit fills. The pits are alternated.

El Porvenir offers their technical expertise throughout the process and trains the community members how to repair and maintain the infrastructure.

Phases:

Community Organization:

The beneficiaries have met with the El Porvenir Promoter and agreed to carry out, use, and maintain the double pit latrines as per the 10 norms on the use of latrines. This includes keeping them in good condition, preventing contamination of the surrounding area, and understanding how this will improve their overall health.

The community will be trained in community organizing techniques and committee functioning.

Community Committee (temporary, a permanent one will be created upon project completion):
Sereno del Socorro Calderón Altamirano, Overall Coordinator
Rigoberto Ruiz, Tools and construction materials coordinator
Gertrudis Victoria Santana Aguilar, Health coordinator

Latrines are built on the property of each family, so each family owns their own latrine through their labor of building it. Community ownership is felt by the community through its identification of its problem and their involvement in the sweat equity of the project.

Government Interaction:

El Porvenir has signed MOUs with our municipal governments. In the case of El Sauce, the government supports the project materials cost at 10%.

Ancillary activities:

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.
-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.)

Other Issues:

Maintenance Revenue:

The health and hygiene education program is described in more detail above.

We encourage the community to start a maintenance fund. They decide on an amount and collect it from benefiting families each month. When repairs need to be made to the well, they can dip into this fund.

In addition, our health and hygiene promoters do surprise home visits to see if the families' latrines are well kept and that they are practicing good hygiene habits.

Maintenance Cost: $300

Metrics:

Health statistics from local health post (# cases of diarrhea per semester/per year - although we have not seen reliable data from the govt lately, so looking into new metrics)

# latrines with handwashing station/soap between home and latrine

# latrines maintained clean and following 10 norms

Cost: $32,152

Budget attached.

Co Funding Amount: $10,135

See spreadsheet. This amount does not include the community contribution, just one additional donor and the municipality.

Community Contribution Amount: $6,308

The community contribution is in-kind for digging the double pits, lining the pits, and installing the exterior structure.

The total time worked by the community in carrying out this project will be approximately 710 person-days with a value of approximately US$3.40 per day (wages generally paid in rural area for manual labor).

Additionally the community will contribute the bricks and the sand for the construction.

Fund Requested: $15,709

Implementing Organization:

Attachments

  • Xls BPN_Budg...
  • 2 participants | show more

    Sustainability plan

    Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

    Hi Rob, You mention about the community fund for the well. Is there a well at this project? What about any use of the community fund latrine repairs, issues, etc. Other than the moving of the pits, have you encountered other maintenance issues. Replacing of the toilet or doors or ...? How has that been taken care of in the past? ...

    Hi Rob,

    You mention about the community fund for the well. Is there a well at this project?

    What about any use of the community fund latrine repairs, issues, etc.

    Other than the moving of the pits, have you encountered other maintenance issues. Replacing of the toilet or doors or ...? How has that been taken care of in the past?

    Regards,
    Rajesh

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Rajesh, The community has water from a water system managed by ENACAL. The mention of the well in the Sustainability section is a cut and paste error from another application. The use of a community fund for household latrine repairs has not worked at all since the latrines are a family responsability, unfortunately. We have looked a...

      Rajesh,

      The community has water from a water system managed by ENACAL. The mention of the well in the Sustainability section is a cut and paste error from another application.

      The use of a community fund for household latrine repairs has not worked at all since the latrines are a family responsability, unfortunately. We have looked at some microfinance options to help families look at repairs down the line, but there are several problems here with that option. (1) There has been a "no payment" movement, that although it seems to be dying down now, has created a difficult climate for microfinanciers. (2) Most microfinanciers are not as interested in home improvement types of loans, just business related loans, as the payback rates are higher apparently.

      One common problem is with the doors. Door repairs need to be taken into town for welding usually. It is often a prohibitive cost. I can't say we have a great solution yet for the long term other than: (a) focusing on preventative maintenance, asking families to put grease on hinges, paint, keep the door closed (so wind doesn't bang it around), etc. so the infrastructure will last longer and (b) having the beneficiaries build and partially pay for the latrines to give them more ownership and to hopefully feel more inclined to (i) take care of it and (ii) pay for necessary repairs. However, having the communities pay a portion has only been in the last few years.

      We have had communities come back to us requesting another latrine (something we do not do though - no repeat customers), but mostly because the latrine is full (from the old single pits we used to do), not due to infrastructure problems (mostly).

      We try to encourage those families to dig another pit and turn their single pit latrine into a double pit, but we haven't gone down this path very far yet to say if that is going to work.

      Rob

  • 2 participants | show more

    question

    Chitra Chaudhuri of Gram Vikas

    Same as Dhanam has asked to specify- what is the technology- pour flush or dry pit? Secondly, in the budget you mentioned about wells , but the proposal says that households have individual connections to water? How does this fit? The community as mentioned by you is government servants and health workers- how much effort is required...

    Same as Dhanam has asked to specify- what is the technology- pour flush or dry pit?

    Secondly, in the budget you mentioned about wells , but the proposal says that households have individual connections to water? How does this fit?

    The community as mentioned by you is government servants and health workers- how much effort is required to enforce hygiene behaviour in such a community?

    thanks
    chitra

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Chitra, See above for the response to Dhanam that I just added. In the budget, I think maybe you had a look at the secondary pages of the budget that feed into the main budget page. It is a template we use for budget calculations and lists all the possible project types. In this particular case, we do not have anything besides the l...

      Chitra,

      See above for the response to Dhanam that I just added.

      In the budget, I think maybe you had a look at the secondary pages of the budget that feed into the main budget page. It is a template we use for budget calculations and lists all the possible project types. In this particular case, we do not have anything besides the latrines, thus column C, "number" is 0 for all except the latrine total. Does that help?

      With your question on hygiene behaviour, all communities are different. The staff judge as time goes on how much effort is needed to change behaviour. The staff will generally accompany a community for approximately 2 years, but will start to lessen the frequency of their visits as time goes on, as the community shows signs of improved hygiene behaviour. Although some of the community members in this case are health workers, this may or may not prove to be helpful to our hygiene campaign in the long run.

      Does that answer your question?

      Rob

      • Chitra Chaudhuri of Gram Vikas

        thanks Rob for the answers? will come back with more if needed. chitra

        thanks Rob for the answers? will come back with more if needed.
        chitra

    • Chitra Chaudhuri of Gram Vikas

      thanks Rob for the answers? will come back with more if needed. chitra

      thanks Rob for the answers? will come back with more if needed.
      chitra

  • 2 participants | show more

    The 10 norms

    Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

    Hi Rob, Can you please share the 10 norms? How do you instill these norms? What do you do when you don't find these norms being upheld? Do your communities work thru peer pressure internally? Or need an external facilitator? Thanks, Rajesh

    Hi Rob,

    Can you please share the 10 norms?

    How do you instill these norms?
    What do you do when you don't find these norms being upheld?
    Do your communities work thru peer pressure internally? Or need an external facilitator?

    Thanks,
    Rajesh

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Rajesh, Happy to share. The norms and other educational materials in Spanish are available on our web site. Spanish may not help you. Just in case, here are the latrine norms in English (fairly close to the current Spanish translation): 1. Always use the latri...

      Rajesh,

      Happy to share. The norms and other educational materials in Spanish are available on our web site.

      Spanish may not help you. Just in case, here are the latrine norms in English (fairly close to the current Spanish translation):

      1. Always use the latrine.
      2. Wash your hands well after every use.
      3. Cover the seat hole and the trash can so that flies don't go in.
      4. Throw a fistful of ashes or lime in after each use of the latrine.
      5. Wash the latrine with bleach and soap every week.
      6. Adorn your latrine so you will enjoy using it.
      7. Burn or bury whatever you use to wipe yourself.
      8. Teach your children and neighbours to use the latrine.
      9. Maintain the latrine and keep the door closed.
      10. When one pit fills, move the bench and housing to the other pit.

      The norms are instilled mostly through the community educators' workshops and their following replication of the workshops. See the explanation of Other Benefits for some discussion on that.

      If the norms are not being upheld, which is common, especially at first, our staff and local community educators schedule the community for further follow-up (we usually follow-up on a community for at least a year, in difficult cases, more). Generally through the house-to-house visits and explanations, people start to get the message. Peer pressure is a factor, certainly, and having the local community educators who continually visit helps with that.

      Does that answer your question?
      Rob

      • Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

        Yes, it does. One more point i would like you to share. How do you train the kids? Do you work thru parents only? Your approach is different from the school->home one. Thanks, Rajesh

        Yes, it does.

        One more point i would like you to share.

        How do you train the kids? Do you work thru parents only?
        Your approach is different from the school->home one.

        Thanks,
        Rajesh

    • Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

      Yes, it does. One more point i would like you to share. How do you train the kids? Do you work thru parents only? Your approach is different from the school->home one. Thanks, Rajesh

      Yes, it does.

      One more point i would like you to share.

      How do you train the kids? Do you work thru parents only?
      Your approach is different from the school->home one.

      Thanks,
      Rajesh

  • 2 participants | show more

    Latrine method

    Juergen Puetz of PALMYRA

    Primarily you are linking this activity with goverment source and beneficiary contribution which is really good for community participation. May I request you to give the details on two pits latrine method with some relevelant pictures with technology involved. Is flush type, dry compost toilet or any other method. Please specity. ...

    Primarily you are linking this activity with goverment source and beneficiary contribution which is really good for community participation.

    May I request you to give the details on two pits latrine method with some relevelant pictures with technology involved. Is flush type, dry compost toilet or any other method.

    Please specity.

    Thanks,

    Dhanam,
    Palmyra

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Dhanam, This is a dry VIP double pit latrine system. This recent project report has some photos that will be similar: http://peerwater.org/en/projects/499-Drilled-well-and-2-Latrines-in-Tule-Oriental-Central-Camoapa Our web page also describes them and we have a link to the design as well: http://elporvenir.org/page/househo...

      Dhanam,

      This is a dry VIP double pit latrine system.

      This recent project report has some photos that will be similar:

      http://peerwater.org/en/projects/499-Drilled-well-and-2-Latrines-in-Tule-Oriental-Central-Camoapa

      Our web page also describes them and we have a link to the design as well:

      http://elporvenir.org/page/household-double-pit-latrines

      Does that help?

      Thanks,
      Rob

    • Juergen Puetz of PALMYRA

      Dear Sir, Thank You for your effort to change the peoples attitude to use the toilet to save the clean environment. Would you advice the beneficiary to use the dry compost as bio-fertilizer for any agriculture activity. Thanks, Dhanam

      Dear Sir,

      Thank You for your effort to change the peoples attitude to use the toilet to save the clean environment.

      Would you advice the beneficiary to use the dry compost as bio-fertilizer for any agriculture activity.

      Thanks,

      Dhanam

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Dhanam, We do advise the beneficiaries that the compost can be used in agriculture (we usually recommend for non-food applications like trees or ornamental plants), however, the culture in Nicaragua is not geared towards using the compost - it is not very culturally acceptable. Most families dig a separate hole and bury the compost... ...

        Dhanam,

        We do advise the beneficiaries that the compost can be used in agriculture (we usually recommend for non-food applications like trees or ornamental plants), however, the culture in Nicaragua is not geared towards using the compost - it is not very culturally acceptable. Most families dig a separate hole and bury the compost...
        Rob

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Dhanam, We do advise the beneficiaries that the compost can be used in agriculture (we usually recommend for non-food applications like trees or ornamental plants), however, the culture in Nicaragua is not geared towards using the compost - it is not very culturally acceptable. Most families dig a separate hole and bury the compost... ...

      Dhanam,

      We do advise the beneficiaries that the compost can be used in agriculture (we usually recommend for non-food applications like trees or ornamental plants), however, the culture in Nicaragua is not geared towards using the compost - it is not very culturally acceptable. Most families dig a separate hole and bury the compost...
      Rob

  • Rating: 8

    review by (only shown to members)

    The sustainability of EP's work has improved with the shift to dual-pit.

    The org's long term continuity with the community makes their work commendable.

  • Rating: 7

    review by (only shown to members)

    There is need in community. Yes is my recommendation

  • Rating: 6

    review by (only shown to members)

    Since the area is peri urban , there needs to be more emphasis on creating local demand and making sanitation an issue to be considered at the local governance level. There can be more emphasis on advocacy than limiting to standard sanitation practices and education alone.

  • Rating: 7

    review by (only shown to members)

    You can use the dry compost after the test result from the Laboratory.

    Thanks,

    Dhanam

  • Rating: 8

    review by (only shown to members)

    El Porvenir projects are quite successful. Sanitation projects such as this one will benefit the village. Experience shows that they are sustainable. My vote is yes on ths application.

    Dave Simko
    Team Blue

Name Status Completion Date Amount Assigned
Double pit latrines in El Guanacaste, El Sauce, Nicaragua Complete - Successful Apr 2013 $15,709