Lima Rotary Club to lead $200,000 grant from The Rotary Foundation for Merendón Mountains sanitation and hygiene education project. This is the largest grant ever for the Lima Rotary Club.
The development of this project by The Lima and Usula Rotary Clubs began in 2014.  Lima Rotary was committed to raise $197,092.00.  This is the largest grant The Lima Rotary Club has ever conducted.  Support for the Lima Club also came from Archbold and Lorain Rotary Clubs in Ohio.  Additional support was also provided by Rotary Clubs and Districts in Canada, Mexico, Olympia Washington, and Semi Sunrise, California.
Towering above the Sula Valley in Northwestern Honduras are the Merendón Mountains, which provide river and aquifer water to the 1.5 million city dwellers below.  Up in the mountains are 45,000 people living in small, scattered villages, most of which have no sanitation facilities.  As a result, villagers have high rates of water borne diseases and poor general health, and the city below has a threatened water source.
Taking up this challenge, the Usula Rotary Club of San Pedro Sula, Honduras and The Rotary Club of Lima- working with residents in the mountains and with regional political, environmental authorities, the city water utility, and Pure Water for The World have embarked on a multi-stage, multi-year program to provide sanitation facilities as well as sanitation and hygiene education to villagers and their schools systems.
During 30 months of project development, the local university and the regional environmental authority (DIMA) aided with detailed needs and health baseline assessments, as well as with baseline water quality tests to assure accuracy of long-term project measurement and evaluations of E-coli.  Pure Water for the World developed plans for educating students in schools, and for training village council sanitation and health advocates – local women who will be trained to teach hygiene and health to their neighbors.  The innovative aspect of this effort is that people from school age to adults will learn the simple importance of handwashing in school while adults will learn how to preserve their everyday environment.
Beginning in the spring of 2017, Usula Club Rotarians will lead a team to oversee design and construction of up to 130 demonstration latrines and sanitation solutions of various types in five selected pilot villages.  Different designs have been selected based on area geological conditions, demographics, and preferences of the local users.  These initial efforts are expected to generate enthusiasm and demand for subsequent project stages over several years that could reach as many as 2000 latrines coupled with extended educational activities to reach all the residents of the Merendón.  Reduced incidence of disease, and the sustainability of this project make it a milestone for the Honduras.
The Lima Rotary Club has been involved with International Service through Rotary International for many years. 13 different projects have been completed by the Lima Rotary Club since 2005.  These have been individual and partnerships projects which benefitted the people of Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Peru and Mexico.
Typical latrine before and after
Mountain terrain makes construction difficult
Surface water is the water source for 95% of people in the Merendon
The people of the Merendon voted in this latrine project and will build their own
The trip up to the mountains is only 15 miles but takes 2 hours
The ladies when interviewed provided the deciding factors for construction with concern for their children