We quizzed Esperanҫa supporters on what the most important life-saving device was in your home this past October, and we shared that it was your toilet. That’s because something as simple as a toilet fights deadly diseases like Cholera and Typhoid. We also shared with you the story of the small village of Santa Amalia with 280 hardworking families located 60 miles north of the town of Jinotega. Uncontained waste is a huge issue in the village of Santa Amalia, and you rose to the challenge to transform their lives.
Generous Esperança donors raised $25,000 for latrines before we shared the story with you in October. Thanks to your support you completed the match and now Santa Amalia will be transformed! We would like to introduce you to Esther Amparo Blandon a young mother of two daughters, Seidelin Alexandra and Helen Juniet. She lives with her husband, Alejandro Jose Ramos Garmendia, and her father-in-law. With your help in the past, we brought drinking water and electricity to their home. However, they didn’t have latrines until a few weeks ago, and had to go outdoors when nature called. Neighbors were plagued by disease with no hope of containing the waste that was the catalyst to their suffering until you changed this.
Esther spoke of how in the past, in order to use the restroom, she would have to hike to the nearby mountains and get undressed, at times in the evening rain exposing herself to potential snake bites. This young family now has an outdoor ecological toilet, built by Esperança with your support, which allows a safe sanitary way to dispose of waste while at the same time being environmentally friendly.
Esther and her husband Alejandro are thrilled with their ecological toilet. They no longer have to worry about the risk of disease their young family faces that accompanies uncontained waste. Esther mentioned that the children like it too because it is close to their home and now eliminates their long walks. It is a point of family pride.
The ecological toilets Esperança is constructing consist of four parts: 1) a sanitary porcelain toilet bowl (without a tank) that is installed upon a pedestal, 2) a decomposing tank (a plastic drum with a top and a vent) 3) a trench for filtration/evaporation filled with gravel and rocks where a perforated PVC pipe is attached and 4) a tank constructed out of zinc laminate and squared tubing. The trench is covered with dirt, and in the surrounding area plants are grown as the roots help with the decomposing process.
Esperança plans to build 280 latrines. Because of the size of the project, we plan to complete this in two phases. Phase One will build half of the needed latrines starting on January 1st. Phase Two completes the project in 2015. Phase One represents 140 families at $380 each. When you add it all up, you will improve the lives of approximately 700 people for as little as $53,200.
It’s amazing that something as simple as a latrine could have the power to save lives. Your partnership with Esperança will continue to give this sort of hope and security to people and villages around the world.