The Or Ya family uses the hand-wash station outside the latrine, a project presented by Rotarian Neil Lund.
Neils Lund connected with families in rural Cambodia through Rotary. His club brought art projects to local schools. Through these art projects, he met families and saw their homes. Rotarians immediately saw that all the homes were missing bathrooms even though most workplaces had latrines. He took a bus ride; the bus suddenly stopped; and people jumped off for a visit to the bushes. Everyone defecated on the side of the road. This habit caused diseases and water pollution. In 2012, he worked with other Rotarians to create Latrines for Life.

Today, Latrines for Life builds four latrines a month in Cambodian homes. Rotarians manage a waiting list and ask for only $12 for a $250 setup. The receiving family makes the commitment to assist with construction as much as possible.  Each one contains a two-pit latrine with a hand washing station. A squatting commode sits on a brick-lawyer foundation that sends waste to a two-pit system. The pits sit four-feet deep and accept waste for one year. Once a pit is full, the system changes over to the second pit. The first pit cures the waste into useful manure.

The Pen Yorn children learn hand washing and receive instructions from the sanitation poster. Outside the latrine sits a tippy tap hand-ash system. Simply pull the string or step on the pedal to receive clean water for hand-washing.  Rotary provides hygiene pictorials to teach germ-free hand washing.

Clean water is also a necessity. A porous fired ceramic pot painted with a silver nitrate solution generates clean water. The pot fits into a plastic receptacle that holds the clean water. The pot has the hole size and porosity to purify the water.

Today‚Äôs speaker, Niels Lund (right), stands with a family who received a newly-built Latrine. This project funding requires three bank accounts: a local Rotary one, a Cambodia-based account and another one for the Rotary Manager. The Rotary Manager resides in Utah and visits Cambodia to check on latrine progress. US Rotaries and even a Denmark club have made donations. Donors receive updates on their family and latrine status. To learn more about this project, check out the Latrines for Life website

Our two new attendees - new member Michelle Way and upcoming member Mila Cochran -- enjoyed hearing about Rotary's work in Cambodia.