Problems with Water
Both the villagers and visitors quickly see the problem that are present with water. During the rainy season the drinking water is collected as runoff from the roofs. The villagers drink this directly, but visitors must purify this before drinking. During the dry season the water for drinking, washing clothes, dishes, and bathing all comes from a small, sediment laden, stream.
The water is contaminated. Some of the contamination is due to sediment. I believe that the water also contains some fecal contamination (I plan to test the water quality from various sources the next time I am there). The people go to the bathroom at various locations in the jungle within a 10 minute walk form the village.
Someone is almost always washing clothing and dishes during daylight hours.
Bathing in the river is done to stay clean, cool off, and have fun.
Sustainable Water Use and Access
Clean water is crucial to the health and welfare of the village. The goal of water use is to have an adequate supply of fresh water.
The village water filtration system.
Putting in a form of composting toilet would not only allow the water to be less contaminated, but would also allow the nutrients in the waste to be given back to the plants that supply food.
This toilet was installed in the summer of 2010. However, it was never properly connected,has never been used (as of November, 2010, and is not composting. Composting toilets may be an answer to two problems. The first, the contaminants will be less likely to enter the drinking water supply. The second, the nutrients from the waste may be given back to the soil used to grow crops.