The remote village of Surmajchi in the Municipality of Nor Chichas, State of Potosi, is home to 54 subsistence farming families (potatoes, carrots, corn, goats, sheep and llamas). Currently the community has a source of clean (but not potable) water that is piped to each home's single outdoor spigot. The community continues to experience high rates of chronic diarrhea due to the 100% rate of open defecation (there are no bathrooms, not even in the school). It has been well established by many organizations such as WHO that reduction of open defecation coupled with hand washing and hygiene education can successfully reduce chronic diarrhea by up to 70%. Chronic diarrhea causes childhood malnutrition, maternal anemia (a primary risk factor for maternal hemorrhage death), poor school attendance and school performance, decreased work productivity, and increases a baby's risk of dying from all other diseases, such as pneumonia.
Our Rotary club will partner with a non-profit based in Livingston and Tupiza that has been working on programs to reduce maternal and infant mortality for 8 years. In addition to birth attendant training and other healthcare education, Global Midwife Education Foundation has a long history of successful water and sanitation programs. With over 1200 bathrooms successfully completed since 2011, GMEF has a model of community built bathrooms and uses technical support from the Ministry of Health Environmental Health division to help the community members successfully construct bathrooms in their homes. For this project, the bathrooms are completed in three phases with each phase completion set by the local community. After the required construction components are met via an inspection, supplies funded by the Rotary Club of Livingston are distributed to each household. In the end, every home in the community, plus the school, will have functioning bathrooms with sinks for hand washing. Following the last phase of the project, the Ministry of Health nurses and doctors conduct home to home bathroom teaching lessons and in school age appropriate sanitation instruction. The cost of each bathroom is $180 ($9720), plus $500 for the school bathrooms.
In addition to the many hours of fundraising work already completed by the Livingston Rotary Club members, at least 2 Rotarians from Montana will be directly involved in interagency agreements and oversight of the project: Genevieve Reid Livingston Rotary, Marcia Rundle, Bozeman Rotary. At least three rotary members from Tupiza will be involved in project oversight and inspection of the project phases. While multiple Rotary clubs are involved with this project, Livingston Rotary is spearheading efforts for this specific 2018-2019 district grant. Rotarian Genevieve Reid is dedicating 50 hours of volunteer time for project oversight (working with Ministry of Health officials and coordinating with town representatives) and training villagers on the proper way to construct the pits (which holds the sewage and converts it to fertilizer) and outbuildings (which will hold the toilet and sink). The design for these toilets are based upon recommendations from the World Health Organization, and prove very efficient for high-desert climates where Surmajchi is located.
Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)
Our club was recently notified that we were awarded $2500 towards this project. The District Grant committee also let us know that an additional $2500 was available to clubs who amended their applications and reapplied. We are submitting this revision to apply for the additional $2500, as we have met the eligibility guidelines of having matching funds on hand. The updated budget would be as follows:
$5,520 Livingston Rotary Club
$2,500 DDF (awarded)
$2,500 DDF (applied for)
Total Budget $10,520