WASH Success in Solimar de Zepeda
Solimar de Zepeda is a community located in the rural region of Trojes, Honduras. The staff at the local school, Eufemia and Dora, worried about the water and sanitation issues in their community, especially in the school. They reached out to Pure Water for the World for help.
The PWW team presented the request to the Edmond Day Breaker Rotary Club and their District 5030, and the clubs set forth efforts to raise funds to bring a comprehensive WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) program to this community.
The teachers and greater community were anxious to receive the project. Their hope escalated when Pure Water for the World came to visit the community to conduct the baseline survey in November 2018, visiting every household.
The aim of the baseline survey is to evaluate the needs of the families and community with regard to water, sanitation and hygiene. Collecting the baseline data provided more evidence to support the high needs that the community of Solimar was experiencing.
On the May 14th, 2019, the PWW team officially began its implementation work in Solimar. The project began with socialization, introducing the BioSand filter project to the community and talking about the 4-way test of Rotary (learn more).
Following the socialization, the people of Solimar participated in three different trainings; one focused on safe and healthy household hygiene, one sharing information about the importance of menstrual hygiene, and one covering environmental conservation. Community Agents were also trained, learning details about the BioSand filter, including proper implementation and maintenance techniques.
Following the trainings, all 37 households received their BioSand water filters. The installation of filters in all homes was completed on June 12th.
To conclude the BioSand filter project, the families received another training by the PWW team focused on personal hygiene, then everyone received deworming pills to help remove any current pathogens from their systems.
The 15 Community Agents are now in charge of supervising the filters. The PWW team will visit the community, again, to make sure families are properly managing and using their filters and that they are experiencing positive health results. The PWW team will also continue to work with Community Agents to deal with any problems that they may encounter and to answer any questions .
In addition to the water filters, 16 households also benefited from a latrine project. For these homes, the families were selected according to need. As the majority of homes already had a washable latrine, PWW supported those who did not have a safe place to use the bathroom. This helps to significantly reduce the risk of fecal contamination both in the home and in the greater community.
In addition to the WASH program for the homes, the school of Solimar, called Jaime Alonzo Rivera, also benefited from the WASH project.
As there was no water available at the school, the project included the construction of a piped water system, 1 km in length, that now brings water from a spring, up a mountain, and down to the school.
A sanitary block, including gender-specific latrines and a handwashing station, was built so that all students have a safe place to use the bathroom, wash hands, and manage menstruation needs when at school. Additionally, a BioSand water filter was installed at the school, so students now have safe water available at school.
Finally, the 48 students in Solimar received school uniforms, thanks to PWW’s partnership with Tailored for Education.
“Before, there was no water available in the school to maintain the old latrines and keep them clean,” says Dora, the school’s teacher. “We had to send students to the closest house for them to do their necessities, but we felt bad about it. Now we have a functioning water system that brings us water from the source at any time of the day! We are also very excited to have the sanitary block, with the latrines and the handwashing station, for the children.”
After waiting a long time, the people of Solimar were rewarded with a short project implementation time. They are deeply moved and very grateful. The teachers, who were very motivated to help all of the people, the adults and children of the community, are very thankful to Edmond Day Breaker Rotary Club and PWW for transforming their community.
“We [the teachers] are overjoyed for the community,” says Eufemia, the school’s director, “because the people of Solimar are all benefiting from this project, now enjoying full access to safe water and proper hygiene! Thank you so very much!”