Baños ecológicos

Amid drought and lack of water, both potable and for irrigation, are communities Ckellu Ckocha, Sijllani and San Isidro, located in the municipality of Betanzos of the city of Potosi, where required urgent measures to improve the quality of life of 100 families living in these three places.

Whereas one of the most critical problems of the country is improving sanitation coverage in rural areas, which reaches only cover 36 per cent in this sector, the European Union (EU), UNICEF, the Ministry of Environment and water (MMAyA) and Huasi Foundation Sumaj health infrastructure implemented in order to mitigate pollution and avoid wasting water.

The pilot project involves the construction of dry toilets, which are suitable for families to adopt hygiene as part of an ecological sanitation space.

The bathrooms, which will benefit about 300 adults and 200 children, have a cup of separating urine and feces, and a urinal for men. When a person uses covers waste with a drying material it is usually lime or dirt and so, besides avoid wasting water, is possible to obtain a natural fertilizer for use in agriculture.

“It’s a good project, we know that with this we will get guano for use on land and as we have no water drops good thing, because we will not make our outdoor needs and really good initiative,” said the mayor of the community of Ckellu Ckocha Nestor Quichu.

However, this authority, which is the most respected by the people, said the urgency is the liquid element, besides being scarce in these three communities, it is also true in the other 139 towns in the municipality of Betanzos, which affects about 12 thousand families who base their economy on agriculture and barter.

“We need clean drinking water, each family uses their wells and do not know if the water is contaminated or not, in addition to water for irrigation is needed and thus sustain our crops that have recently suffered from everything. We produce potatoes, carrots and all kinds of vegetables, it is all we have to move forward, “said the mayor.

It is so with the implementation of this technology better water management is achieved, but the empowerment plays an important role because in the pursuit of this ecological sanitation uses and customs of communities stand.

Obviously children understand the benefits of these baths but adults show some resistance, although gradually join the initiative and empower a new way of grooming and hygiene use.

“It’s natural rejection at the beginning, that occurs anywhere in the world, all this takes time and implement ecological dry toilets in adults is difficult and late. The first thing to do is to sensitize the people and show the importance of this, teach practical way and track for about nine months to go evaluating the results, “said Thomas Alveteg, first secretary of Natural Resources of the Embassy Sweden, who contributes to the project.

In this context, the families of the municipality of Betanzos looking to improve their quality of life and have different elements that assist in reducing the climate crisis, depletion of natural resources and environmental disasters.


Initially there was talk about the negative effects of water and fecal contamination in the environment.
Trainers Sumaj Huasi Foundation explained to the residents of the communities of Ckellu Ckocha, San Isidro Sijllani and that is basic sanitation and its importance for living well.
It was carried out workshops to teach various health practices, such as body hygiene and the importance of hand washing. Children were the main actors in this educational process.
In order to provide greater knowledge in promoting family health explained how to disinfect water and contaminated environments.
As part of training, the importance of recycling is also explained through workshops taught by an agronomist who made a joint work with families.
teaching materials, characterized by illustrative graphs, with the aim of improving the training process was used in families.


water needed for consumption

“Water for us is the lifeblood and we do not know whether or not we are consuming contaminated wells in each of the families water. The place needs a lot of water for irrigation and thus maintain production and bring food to the capital cities (…) In the absence of this have suffered drought killed crops brothers “.

Benefit for agriculture

“These baths have the power to separate the liquid part that is a source of urea and solid human waste, which is an excellent restorer of land. The idea is that in my five years in office can be reached around 2 000 ecological toilets for the municipality (…) this is the apple of our eyes and we expect good results. ”

Alternative sanitation

“It really is a technological alternative in the field of sanitation (…) our difficulty is reaching rural areas less than 200 inhabitants, where you can not implement a conventional sanitary sewer system and this technology is very suitable and feasible to reach with sanitation the scattered rural areas. ”
The importance of dry bath

“It is setting an example to other communities without basic sanitation. Having this technology people wash their hands and this is an improvement in health, especially in children and given a very positive effect on them. With waste, once they have composted, it can be used for agriculture with free organic fertilizer. ”

Different needs affect communities

Crops affected by severe frosts in Ckellu Ckocha the municipality of Betanzos.
In the municipality of Betanzos, it is not only present the lack of basic sanitation and the villagers say that in recent years “forgotten” has been one of the main characteristics of these sectors of Potosi.

“If we go to any community do not have latrines in school units and if there is lack of water really is a shame (…) is given need drinking water and irrigation, this year the drought has punished us and destroyed 2,900 hectares and 4 thousand families have been affected by this climate problem. Our economy will fall by 30 percent this year and this causes migration and fall of our town, “said the mayor of the municipality of Betanzos, Juan Tellez.

For his part, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ruben Mendez, said the water supply for irrigation will grow in the coming months and that between 2020 and 2025 the State aims to cover 100 percent sanitation basic in the country.

But all is lack of water as the people seeking immediate solutions to various shortcomings and needs to be resolved not trigger social problems such as migration of a large number of people who travel to cities in search of better opportunities.

“The needs are many, need the support of the authorities, we need technical assistance, we are farmers and we have modern machinery, costs survive and carry on the family. We need a land improvement and all this leaves both migration seen in recent times, “said Nestor Quichu.

According to the local residents of the community of Ckellu Ckocha, in the last two years they have been affected by severe frosts and drought that destroyed hundreds of crops and caused economic losses in families engaged in agriculture.

“They say there is no money for water, there has been drought, it has not rained this year, my crops have not grown, so are dry and have frozen over with a hailstorm. Here was potato, bean and quinoa, all give this land without water but can not. Seeds do not give us and we need to recover the loss, “said a villager who declined to give his name.

“I also lost my plantation was tired but 15 minutes (hail) have lost everything and is difficult to recover, the seeds do not get easy, that just is scarce and food is lacking a bit this year. They say it will do much more heat and that also kills crops, “said another villager community Ckellu Ckocha.

Also, the mayor said that should improve the health of families with implementing coaching inn that provide better services in harmony with the customs of the families of these people, who before this deficiency are turning to natural medicine.

Finally, the residents of the area agreed that they should provide more financial support in food-producing areas of the country, with the aim of improving the living conditions of these sectors and ensure food security in Bolivia.


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