The Rotary E-Club of Wall Street has a longstanding, fruitful, relationship with the local community members and Rotary Clubs of Haiti that transcends borders.
Our involvement with this beautiful country started with the Haiti Entrepreneurship Camp (HEC)(http://www.wallstreetrotary.org/haiti-entrepreneurship-camp/), and has since led to other initiatives like responding to Hurricane Matthew, supporting orphanages, partnering with HEC alumni to produce face masks against COVID-19 (http://www.wallstreetrotary.org/covid19/) and co-hosting an online concert to raise money for a Global Grant that supports infrastructure of local hospitals to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic (http://www.wallstreetrotary.org/service/medical-waste/).
Last year our Club Board approved initial funds to construct a school building for a primary school in the Delmas 62 neighborhood. http://www.wallstreetrotary.org/service/haitischool/ Our goal is to provide a sustainable future for young people of Haiti by working directly with local officials, experts, students and teachers to understand limitations, needs and opportunities. Together, our E-Club and our District's members will help Haiti educate future generations of young leaders.
Albert Davis, one of our members living in Port-au-Prince, is a Certified Engineer and works closely with the local team as well as fellow Rotary Clubs to ensure the project's development and success. During the planning phase it became clear that proper sanitation is a significant challenge, given the school is located in a densely populated neighborhood with no existing sewage system.
We have determined, for various reasons, that an in-ground septic tank is not feasible (expensive to build) nor is a latrine (bad odors). Because the water table is so high, causing limited space the tank would have to be under the building and the nearest approach point of a tank pumping truck was much too far away (500 meters) for hoses to reach and pump effectively.
To identify practical and locally sustainable solutions, we consulted local and international experts including the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Rotarian Action Group. After many virtual meetings, group chats, physical meetings and site visits, the Project team eventually concluded that the most viable concept for sanitation would be to develop a new separate initiative to install compost toilets and ensure students and teachers are comfortable and educated about proper usage. Dry, waterless or compost toilets are a viable way of processing human waste. They are an attractive, safe and sustainable sanitation alternative in areas of the developing world that lack municipal sanitation infrastructure.
The decision to move forward with a compostable toilet system was made with the background to provide a safe, lasting and comfortable solution for this school. Based on expert experience, it is crucial to not only build the toilet but also incorporate the proper community training, outreach etc. - therefore we plan to rely on local experts to consult us and help with the process. In preparation for this project, we identified the parties but costs are more than originally anticipated. Therefore, we are applying upfront to this District grant to ensure quality hygiene for the students and community of Delmas 62- home to friends and a member of our District.
The Budget can be broken down as following:
Design / Training: 2000USD
(Local Consultant who implemented toilets for many NGOs, this item contains design, training of community, teachers, compost manager/cleaner as well as follow-ups and quality control)
Construction Material: 2500USD
(Toilet as well as onsite composting system)
Construction Labour: 500USD
(Local workforce to build toilet + compost site)
Training is a key
During discovery a common theme emerged. Training of staff that will be responsible for the operation of the compost toilet is key to success. The training extends beyond staff to users, which in our case are students and school staff. Community residents who are near the school and its composting area also have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed as part of the implementation plan's community outreach.
Custom Fabrication is required compost toilets
Compost toilets are currently not in mass production. In Haiti this represents an opportunity for local craftspeople to build our toilets and for us to locally source stainless steel handwashing, urinals and toilet seats. Incorporating these components into a functioning system requires a well thought out design and supervision of onsite fabricators.
Compost bins require assembly
Compost bins provide a place for natural processes to transform organic waste into usable soil. The organic waste that can be composted includes human feces and urine. Although a compost bin is a fairly rudimentary structure, in the case of the Haitian school, due to space limitations, the compost bins will be on the rooftop. Once again, careful and thoughtful consideration has to be given to the design of the compost area and requires construction supervision.
Proper training for use and maintenance of the waterless/compost sanitation system is critical to its successful operation. The funds requested in this grant proposal will ensure that this new system of sustainable sanitation will be a success by making sure that dedicated school staff knows how to safely and correctly implement all aspects of the system.
The school building itself is under construction now with a targeted completion date of March of 2021. The support requested in the grant application, will compliment the school building and nicely align into our timeline to work on design and fabrication of bathroom components. The rooftop compost area will only be able to fabricated after the build out of the roof which comes near the end of the construction. The educational components will follow the completion of the physical installation of the toilets and compost area, which is anticipated to be taking place in April 2021.
We have negotiated with a Haitian NGO that can provide design, supervision and educational components needed for the successful implementation of the compost toilet for the community school. The details of the services provided follows:
Design, Supervision and Training of implementation of compost toilet system for community school ECLUJE in Delmas 62, Haiti.
The contract is for design of compost toilet and compost area. Ordering the fabrication of stainless steel urinal(s), washing station and toilet seats. Supervising the assembly of the bathroom and its components of compost toilet(s), washing station, urinal(s). Supervise the assembly of the compost area.
Maintenance staff will be trained to operate compost toilets and compost bins. Students and education staff will be educated in the topic of composting and shown the proper way to use compost toilets. Composting will be explained to community stakeholders.
Our Club will also host an online expert panel discussion to raise awareness of sanitation challenges and the use of compostable toilets on the 23rd of September: http://www.wallstreetrotary.org/compost/