Community welcome of FIEA






The campaign title: “Eco-Latrines For A Better Life” originates from the community itself.

EIA Project Cost: $11,125

Partners: The Agricultural Syndicate of the community of Machacamarca-Micacuni and EWB-Tulsa University

Primary Goal: Build eco-latrines for every home in Machacamarca-Micacuni.

The Need 

Machacamarca-Micacuni is a community of 64, located in the mountains near Lake Titicaca. The community has a water supply from a spring which feeds a tank and is distributed by a pipeline to several community taps.

EIA/FIEA has determined this is an excellent community for us to work in as witnessed by the continuing functioning of the water system put in many years ago. In a meeting where EIA/FIEA engineers were present, the community stated that their principal concern is a sanitation system.

Old Latrine
Old Latrine

Twenty years ago, a church group built a few latrines with cesspools. These latrines are falling apart and were built for only a few families which led to jealousies within the community. The cesspool reached full capacity but the design from the church did not allow for any cleaning of the cesspool. Consequently, they buried it because of the odor.

The community has asked their municipal (county) government for support, but were turned down because the municipality is focused on providing water to everyone first.

Number of People Directly Affected: 64. Number of People Indirectly Affected: 80

The Project Goal

“Eco-Latrines For A Better Life” will provide the community with access to a sanitation system that uses appropriate technology, recycles waste, and is capable of being used indefinitely with proper operation, maintenance and repair. This will greatly improve the health of the community by reducing the risk of infectious diseases, especially among the very young and the elderly. Eliminating fecal contamination in the river will also make it safer for agricultural use, and protect the springs used for drinking water.

The project will be to design culturally appropriate latrines which will separate the urine from the feces. Most of the nitrogen contained in excreta is in the urine that transmits few of the diseases associated with human waste. (Schistosomiasis and typhoid are notable exceptions in certain areas). Once urine and feces are kept separate, urine can be used as a fertilizer without treatment, with minimal precautions needed to protect health. Fecal matter will also remain dry and therefore easier and more convenient to manage. Increases in storage time, temperature, dryness, pH, ultraviolet radiation, and competing natural soil organisms are among the environmental factors used to enhance the treatment and composting the fecal matter.

Once a sanitation system is installed it will ensure hygienic excreta, sludge disposal and a clean and healthful living environment both at home and in the community. It will provide the access to a basic sanitation including safety and privacy in the use of these services.

The community has indicated that future projects may include an irrigation system and/or solar showers.

Engineers in Action’s Role:

EIA has just completed a project in nearby Sorata. The community came to EIA and requested our help.  After careful screening and participation in a meeting where the community selected its priorities, EIA determined that this community is capable of sustaining this project upon completion.

Total Costs for the Project

Program costs for EIA (Project development, logistics, communications

Oversight, etc.)                                                                                   $11,125

Engineering design & labor by EWB-Tulsa                                                    $10,000

Labor: $5,964 (to be donated with ‘in-kind’ labor by the community)          $  5,964

Materials (5% to be provided by community – 95% from EWB-Tulsa)        $31,673

Equipment                                                                                                       $     715

Total Costs                                                                                                      $59,477