Urgent Needs Latrines, La Vigia and Colonia Japonesa

Year: 2013
Country: Dominican Republic
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Health
Project Investment: $2,542.20

Project Launch:

The communities of La Vigia and Colonia Japonesa are approximately four kilometers from the Haitian/Dominican border. The local population is a mix of middle class (mostly Dominican) and low-income (majority Haitian) families, and the contrast between middle class homes and lower-income homes is stark. Lower income families struggle to put food on the table and live in poorly constructed, dilapidated wooden homes where electricity and water access are inconsistent at best. New immigrants to these communities from Haiti are not immediately integrated within neighborhood groups and thus find it more difficult to gain employment, face language barriers and discrimination, and many of their children cannot attend school. In addition to these struggles, these families often do not have the resources to construct latrines at their homes, so they either use nothing at all or use latrines that are unsanitary or full, which causes overflow during the rainy season contaminating the surrounding environment and leaving residents vulnerable to water-borne disease transmission. This project, building on lessons learned from a successful project in the nearby community of Los Callejones, will result in the installation of 24 ventilated pit-latrines for the households in the communities identified as most in need.


Project Update:

The project installed 51 latrines in Colonia Japonesa, La vigia and La Palmita, more than double what was originally planned. Sanitation education was provided to a local girl’s group, ages 10-15. In addition, the girls helped make 20 hand washing stations, which they brought back to their homes, as well as distributed throughout the community. Six community volunteers completed their training as health facilitators and have each volunteered to visit four families to talk about the importance of sanitation and healthy handwashing habits. The health facilitators have already visited the families once and plan to make a second visit soon.



“It is a relief, because now I don’t have to go to my neighbor’s latrine, I have my own.“ – Toma, Project Participant
“From a health stand-point it has eliminated some potential threats of cholera and other fecal-transmitted diseases!” – Cynthia, Peace Corps Volunteer

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