La Colmena is a small agricultural community in the southern desert of Peru, situated in the greater municipality of Santiago. The community is comprised of 30 families and approximately 50 children under the age of 8, and it is the most distant and disadvantaged community in all of Santiago's 46 annexes. The community struggles with basic education and infrastructure, such as water treatment and bathrooms. Since there are no bathroom facilities in La Colmena, its families are forced to practice open defecation.
This project will improve community health by building ten bathrooms for ten families. Each family will participate in healthy home training sessions, which include a focus on proper use and maintenance of their new bathrooms, installation of basic handwashing stations, proper storage of drinking and cooking water, nutrition, and waste management.
The participating community members have attended trainings on contamination routes, hand washing, water treatment and storage, solid waste disposal, and operation and maintenance of the bathrooms. All ten bathrooms have been constructed and the beneficiaries are satisfied with their new toilets. House visits and monitoring and evaluation trips will continue over the next few months to ensure that the latrines are properly maintained and the beneficiaries are improving their hygiene and sanitation habits.
"I just started using my bathroom and it is working very well… I am so happy to have a place for my family to go to the bathroom so that my children do not have to walk far from the house in the middle of the night." - Sonia, Project Leader