Burkina Faso Latrine Project

Hello! I'm Melissa, and my Peace Corps program was recently evacuated from Burkina Faso due to security issues.  Before we were evacuated, the village I was living in, Kaonguin-Sanrgo (K-Sanrgo), started pursuing a latrine project with me.  A project I was not able to finish.  

The Cause
Burkina Faso is a small landlocked country located in West Africa, and ranks 185 out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index.  K-Sanrgo is a remote village located in the northern part of Burkina Faso, and is plagued with disease, malnutrition, and lack of infrastructure.   


Most all people in K-Sanrgo must use open-air defecation as  they do not have the money to build latrines.  A lack of proper sanitary practices contributes to contamination of drinking water, diarrheal disease, and malnutrition. 

The Start of a Project
This project came from the community.  At the begining of my service, I was approached by the Village Counselor and the President of the Village Development Committee, and asked to explore the potential of a latrine project.  After interviewing several community members, reviewing the data at the local health clinic, and realizing that 20% of the non-malaria related cases treated at the clinic could be eliminated with proper hygienic practices, I knew the construction of latrines was essential.

I want to uphold my promise to finish the project I started in my village, and help my community build these much needed home latrines.

How You Will Help
The money you contribute will go to building 75 latrines benefiting nearly 1,500 people.  The community will contribute 47% of the cost for the project in-kind by digging pits for their latrines, making mud-bricks for their walls, and providing water, gravel, and sand for cement mixing.  Your money will cover the cost of cement, rebar, transportation, and labor. Below is a complete breakdown of the cost of this project.

Below is an example of the type of open-air latrine K-Sanrgo will build.  Six masons have been employed to build these simple square latrines.  To see how these latrines are built, click the link here. 


The Start of the Project
The necessary groundwork for this project has already been laid.  At the end of August 2017, I held two meetings:  one with 14 elders of the community who all approved of and are committed to building latrines in K-Sanrgo, and another with the 6 masons who will be constructing the latrines.

We reviewed essential practices such as, how the latrines are to be constructed, the timeline of construction, and the pricing of materials to be purchased. 

Leadership
Though I am not living in Burkina Faso, I have three trusted partners living in K-Sanrgo and the regional capital who will be helping me complete this project with integrity.

The three partners are Silvain Ouedraogo, a volunteer at the local health clinic who has helped me carryout several projects within the village.  He will be in charge of project monitoring.  He will ensure the families who recieve the latrines have dug their pit, made their bricks, and have been taught how to properly clean and manage their latrines.  

Moumini Sawadogo, the pharmacist at the local health clinic, who has excellent project management and book keeping skills.  He will be purchasing and disbursing all of the materials, and keeping track of the work accomplished with respect to pouring platform molds, making cement bricks, and delivery of materials.  

Ben Ouedraogo, a friend who lives in Kaya, a large town near K-Sanrgo, and works for Compassion International.  Ben will be managing the money disbursments.  I will send your donations to Ben through Western Union. To ensure the money is managed properly, he will take photos of money disbursed, manage receipts, and take photos of finished latrines for me to post here for project updates.

These three trusted partners will honestly carry out the latrine project we planned together to benefit the people of K-Sanrgo.
   
Timeline
I need to send these funds to Burkina Faso by the middle of January, as this is the ideal time for people to dig their pits and dry their bricks.  The project should be completed three months after the donations are recieved, according to the timeline my project partners, masons, and I previously agreed upon.

Who You Will Help
By contributing money to this fundraising campaign, you will be directly helping over 1,500 beneficiaries.  My village was truly excited to have private, practical, and clean places to use the bathroom.  Latrines do not only save people from suffering from preventable diseases, but also preserve the safety and dignity of the user.  Help us finish the project we started, and contribute to the health and betterment of a community in need.

Who Am I?
Though I started this project as a Peace Corps Volunteer, this project is not associated with the Peace Corps since we have been evacuated.  I am a hard working and dedicated individual who believes health is an inherent human right.  I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in neurobiology, and have since carried out several projects in both Burkina Faso and India that prove me to be capable of project management and execution.  Please check out my website to see the work I have accomplished: https://melissajunesieffert.wordpress.com/
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Organizer

Melissa Sieffert 
Organizer
Reno, NV
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