In 2009 Rainforest Flow brought its pilot project to the native Matisgenka village of Tayakome, in the protected zone of the Manu National Park, with the same goal: to improve the health of the families, while respecting their cultural and environmental needs. As in Huacaria, we first formed partnerships with the local and regional health and educational ministries.
Our goal is to promote long term health advances by teaching daily hygiene to children and mothers and by monitoring the overall health of the village. Classes for mothers focus on personal hygiene, nutrition, pre-and-post natal care, and maintaining cleanliness in the home. Classes for children include expressive art and song to teach children how their daily actions can affect their health and environment.
We trained a village-elected technical committee to construct and maintain the water and sanitation systems, and to establish and collect a monthly usage fee, agreed upon by the villagers. The committee is also trained to operate an on-site coliform bacterial testing lab to ensure water quality. The HACH microbiology lab is one of the best tools we have to teach about the harmful effects of unseen bacteria that can live in the villagers’ water source.
Committee members are also given an opportunity to earn wages with Rainforest Flow. They do this by teaching the people in the other villages in our expansion project how to build their infrastructure and improve their health.
How did we do it?
We started with building a low technology, gravity flow water system that utilizes slow sand filtration to purify the water supply. Slow sand filters have been in existence for over 200 years and naturally remove up to 99.99% of the bacteria from the village water supply. Clean water is then piped throughout five kilometers of the community to individual homes, the school and the medical post.
With the help of the village water committee and household members, we constructed a tap stand and underground greywater drain at each home in the village. The underground drain was designed to accommodate heavy rainfall and functions without contaminating the environment.
We then built eco-friendly bathrooms at the village schoolhouse, with separate sides for girls and boys, and placed a utility sink with an underground drain next to it. The utility sink reinforces hand washing and daily hygiene practices for the 75 children that attend classes.
Both the water system and waste disposal system were built by incorporating natural materials from the surrounding forest, to be in harmony with the environment. The systems were built to accommodate an annual population growth of 5% over fifteen years.
We maintain an integral partnership with the health ministry and its local team at the Tayakome health post. This strengthens the existing health system and promotes long term health advances when Rainforest Flow is no longer in the community.
Rainforest Flow conducts an ongoing comprehensive field study in partnership with our consulting medical anthropologist, Dr. Glenn Shepard Jr, who speaks fluent Matsigenka.
Rainforest Flow 25852 McBean Parkway #740 Valencia, CA 91355 323.874.1940
firstname.lastname@example.org Rainforest Flow is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization