How do you get the Peruvian government to adopt best sanitation practices for rural Amazonia? Leading by example, of course…and partnering with UNICEF. As the regional forerunners in constructing effective, low-cost, and ecologically-sensitive basic sanitation and waste management systems, we at Alianza Arkana have been chosen to partner with UNICEF and the provincial municipality of Coronel Portillo (MPCP) on what could very well become one of the most extensive permaculture projects in the sectors of public health and basic sanitation.
We will be working with eight rural communities —all of whom have been working with UNICEF since 2011— four Ashaninka in the District of Masisea, four Shipibo in Callería. The project will also extend to four urban settlements, two built in response to heavy flooding in Callería, and two settlements in Yarinacocha where we’ll be continuing partnerships with Bena Jema and Jhon Hocking Weeks.
Demonstrating improved designs for latrines and greywater/wastewater filtration systems is a high priority for communities that have historically used the river for all their water and waste related needs due to low population density. Practical solutions are now needed as populations grow along with their waste streams. Each of these communities will receive the materials and support to construct demonstrative composting latrines for their schools, public meeting halls, and health posts. Two hand-washing stations and six demonstrative banana circles will also be installed for greywater management.
Also of utmost importance for many of these communities is access to potable water. For those that have limited access to potable water, we’ll be working to improve existing systems. Those with no access will have rainwater catchment and slow sand filtration systems installed that can also be used for purifying river water. The hope is that by demonstrating the systems’ effectiveness to residents, UNICEF, and the government we can establish a new standard for access to clean water, especially in communities most contaminated by oil and mining operations.
The most exciting part of this initiative is its potential for large-scale impact. We plan to present our results to stakeholders at a symposium in Pucallpa to promote region-wide investment in these regenerative technologies. Hopefully
our successful partnership will lead to long-term collaborations with UNICEF and the Peruvian government and a widespre
ad adoption of permaculture solutions for the region and the world!
Thursday, 03 July 2014