Victor Félix Quispe
"My lifestyle in the highlands has improved dramatically thanks to these technologies"
Victor Félix Quispe lives in the Pumanota association in the Lincuyo sector of the Sicuani district, at 4,600 metres above sea level. He lives with his wife, his children and his mother, a family entirely devoted to raising alpacas and llamas.
After having lived with his family for over 12 years in Marangani, he told us about the changes he has experienced as a result of the work carried out by Practical Action.
“I used to live in Marangani, where I had a small house built of stone and straw. It only had two rooms, one for storing food and the other served as both a kitchen and a bedroom, with a small stove that was inadequate, but at the time we were unaware of the effects of so much smoke. We also used a kerosene burner.”
Thanks to the Allimpaq project, Victor and his family established an improved kitchen stove, a photovoltaic system (solar panel), a single family water supply system and an eco-san latrine. These and the training provided by the project aroused his interest in improving his living conditions.
“With the family we discussed the possibility of building a new house. The technologies installed by the project were the reason why we wanted a better home and a better lifestyle than before, with all the technologies installed in my home. My children (they all study in Sicuani) are now amazed at the changes we have made in the house, which are even better than in the city. It is really good to have these technologies, because they improved our standard of living.
“With the improved kitchen stove we no longer have smoke in the kitchen, the services are cleaner, our clothes no longer smell of smoke like they did before and we use less fuel. My mother used to have a constant cough and that has changed radically. With the photovoltaic system, we have stopped buying kerosene as we no longer use the burner. We also use it to operate a small spinning wheel and a shearing machine, among other things.”
Victor mentioned that before building his current single family water system, they used to drink water directly from a stream approximately 30 metres away from their home.
“Now we drink piped water; we have a catchment area and the water is piped to a tap in my house, so we no longer have to go and fetch water from the stream. Besides, to ensure that the water is safe, the Allimpaq Project trained us to keep the water catchment system clean at all times.”
The construction of the eco-san latrine also has brought health benefits for his family, who no longer have to relieve themselves outdoors, behind rocks or near the river.
“I did not have to think twice about building an eco-san latrine as by then I knew that the illnesses we had were from going to the toilet outside. The pollution caused by throwing rubbish anywhere even contaminated the animals. It is important for us, because that way we are helping to preserve our pollution-free environment.”
Finally, Victor told us with satisfaction that with a water heater – the technology recently installed in his home – his family is happy because they now have better and healthier hygiene habits.
“The family is pleased with the hot water provided by the solar heater, particularly the children who are much cleaner than they were before. My wife is also happy with these technologies. We are amazed.”