Sustainable sanitation initiatives in Guatemala

August 15th, 2014 by TOMS

In Guatemala, recent reports share that 94% of Guatemalans have access to clean water sources and 80% have access to sanitation facilities. While these statistics might seem impressive at first glance, the reality is that many of these water systems have partially or completely failed. TOMS Giving Partner Water For People and TOMS Roasting Co. purchases are helping to change this.

In Guatemala, TOMS works with Water For People to support projects that improve sanitation facilities and hygiene practices. Recently, in a school district in the department of El Quiche, Yohana García Urizar, president of the School Parent Teacher Committee lead the project, which focused on the construction of a sanitation block that includes a hand-washing station, sanitation facilities, and a biodigestor for the proper treatment of waste water.

With funding from Water for People and TOMS Roasting Co., the project was set into motion by the collective effort of members of the Parent Teacher committee who supported the construction through its completion. Parents and teachers also received training regarding the maintenance of the sanitation facilities as well as hygiene practices, specifically proper hand-washing etiquette.

With the project complete, the school now has eight toilets and parents feel assured knowing their children have a safe place with proper hygiene and sanitation. Teachers are now educating their students on the importance of washing their hands and how to properly use water to limit wasting water.

“We are happy with the project. It is a blessing,” Yohana says.