Honduras and District 7710 Collaborate
By Carol Frey
In 2015, the Cary-Page club, its partner clubs in District 7710, and the Rotary Club of Danli, Honduras, used club contributions and a global grant to construct 59 latrines and install 305 Biosand water filters in Nueva Palestina.
"This project was built on the experience of a narrower effort the year before", said Mark Wainwright of Cary-Page, “There’s just so much need down there, I just thought I’ve got to do it again."
Biosand filters use gravity to carry dirty water through layers of biological material that kill pathogens, then through sand and gravel to remove solids. Water then trickles out of a pipe and into a container collecting the potable water. These filters weigh about 400 pounds, which discourages theft over the 20 years they work for families lacking access to public sources of clean water. The filters were made by a company (Fabrica de Filtros de Bioarena) in Danli, and village families constructed the latrines.
District 7710 clubs (Southwest Durham, Wake Forest, Holly Springs and Cary’s five clubs) provided $42,250 for materials and construction of the latrines. Pictured is an example of what one village family of Nueva Palestina has as a finished latrine.
The national government, preoccupied with urban areas following a catastrophic hurricane in 1999, had offered rural villages little hope of improvement. Latrines and water filters provided by Rotary clubs have led to a sharp decline in medicines formerly used to treat water-borne illnesses. “We can’t send enough medicines for a growing population so we had to start working at the source of the diseases,” said Mark Baric, one of the project’s participants. “If we can solve problems at the source – water filters and latrines for health – we can give them a better life for 50-60 years.”