Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This past Sunday we had a community-wide latrine educational workshop. We advertised it at our household surveys for days in advance, telling people that the meeting would start at 3:30pm, and knowing that people would begin to show up, at best, around 4:30pm. The day of, we went house-to-house to rally people, and got a very decent turnout of at least 30 women, men, and children of all ages. Using several hand-drawn cartoons and diagrams courtesy of Emma, we discussed maintenance, the purposes of lined, source-separating latrines, and prompted a dialogue amongst community members about latrine issues that have come up. We passed around soil samples recently collected from latrine pits for further visuals. It is difficult to immediately gauge the effectiveness of our workshop. Future monitoring will show if latrine maintenance improves. This trip's educational initiatives have been the largest in the history of our latrine project, and we have directly reached scores of community members. Hopefully our efforts will have a positive impact.
      On Monday, we had time to take a day trip to Lake Volta. Cruising amongst marshy islands, the chemical engineers on the travel team couldn't help but make comments on the laminar and turbulent flow of the water around the boat. Even on our free days, some of us are still very much engineers without borders.
    We visited a neighboring community today that has reached out to us for help in constructing a health clinic. Unused latrine pits were also sealed this afternoon. Tomorrow we plan on meeting with the community leaders of Amanfrom, another community that has expressed interest in receiving help with infrastructure improvements.

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