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Belize | Latrine Project

Chau, L.
volunteer from Massachusetts
in Belize

The spread of diarrheal diseases is prevalent in southern Belize, mainly due to poor hygienic practices and lack of latrines in homes. Our community is a rural Mayan/Mestizo village located in the North East of Toledo, and the village is between the middle of an outbreak of diarrheal diseases in surrounding villages. An alarming number of residents do not have adequate latrines, or do not have latrines at all. With this barrier, this results in families having to defecate outside in the bush, where it is exposed to everyone in surrounding areas. This practice poses a health risk for the village, especially the children who walk barefoot and play, and this leads to a high risk of contracting diarrheal diseases.

The primary goal in the village is to implement a community-led latrine project that will provide efficient trainings to avoid diarrheal diseases as well as the construction of latrines to reduce the risk of spreading diarrheal diseases in the community. With this in mind, the village council, community health worker, and the Peace Corps volunteer came together to discuss what actions should be taken and design a project that would foster team-work, reduce the risk of diarrheal disease spread, as well as eliminate or reduce this practice.

With this project, the residents will be able to obtain education on latrine maintenance and sanitation, which will ultimately decrease the risk of spread of diarrheal diseases. A total of three meetings will be held for project recipients: the first consisting of a public meeting informing of the project and determining who would need a latrine, the next two meetings involved latrine maintenance and sanitation education, the logistics of constructing the latrine, and their contribution to it. Community contribution will involve donation of sand and gravel amongst the selected recipients, labor on construction of the latrines, as well as transportation of the lumber and materials from the jungle and hardware store.

In order to improve health, the community aims to work together to help combat outbreaks of diarrheal diseases.

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community contributions
total raised
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$4,651.70 to meet goal