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Rotary Brings Dry Composting Toilets to Rural Communities

By Lee Carter

It is far too easy for many of us to take for granted access to clean water, proper nutrition, and proper sanitation facilities. However, it is estimated that worldwide 2.5 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation. According to the United Nations, countries where open defecation is widely practiced have the highest number of deaths of children under five.

Gary Peterson, previous president of Feed the Hungry San Miguel, has confirmed that more than 50 percent of the children in the San Miguel de Allende surrounding communities they serve suffered from malnutrition prior to Feed the Hungry’s involvement. In the rural communities surrounding San Miguel, open defecation is widely practiced simply because there are no alternatives. Merely building toilets is not necessarily the answer. More often than not, the facilities built fall into disuse and disrepair. This is an issue that Rotarians have faced worldwide as they have tried to address the lack of sanitation.

The Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende, along with its partner Centro de Desarrollo Agropecuario (Center for Agricultural Development), known as CEDESA, has been addressing issues related to the lack of safe drinking water for nine years. They have invested more than US$650,000 to provide education, training, and building materials to rural dwellers who want to self-construct rainwater harvesting systems in their homes. To date 1,100 cisterns have been built, collecting 13,200,000 liters of rain annually. Beneficiaries are encouraged to remain active in the grassroots campesino organization COCIRA under the CEDESA’s guidance.

Rotary Midday has formed a coalition with the municipality of San Miguel, The Rotary Foundation, and Friends of Vivienda—a nonprofit group that works to improve the lives of members of the community of Vivienda de Abajo—to conduct a pilot project to build dry composting toilets. This project will be kicked off in May with the construction of 51 toilets in the communities of Juan Gonzalez, Vivienda de Abajo, Montecillo de Nieto, Cienega Juana Ruiz, and Corralejo de Abajo at a cost of US$96,000.

Come to the Rotary Midday presentation on Tuesday, April 17 to learn more about dry composting toilets. Learn how they work and why they are the best alternative for attacking the problems related to open defecation.

Rotary Midday meets every Tuesday at 12:30pm at Hotel Misión at Salida de Querétaro 1.


Rotary Presentation

“Rotary Brings Dry Composting Toilets to Rural Communities”

Tue, Apr 17, 12:30pm

Hotel Misión

Salida a Querétaro 1

415 112 3413




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