Transforming lives in the Andes

The Chain of Good

Ravalina and her family are the stars of this humorous video by innocent and Practical Action

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Improving living conditions

In Canchis the main activity is raising alpacas, llamas and sheep and growing native potatoes.  Homes are single room huts built of stones and mud with a straw roof. The main source of energy is dung, used for both cooking and heating. There is an alarming rate of chronic infant malnutrition, caused mainly by parasites and acute diarrhoea.

More than 200,000 Andean highland families live in a similar situation in the province of Canchis in the south of Peru.  Low population density and large distances from the towns make it difficult for the local authorities to make an impact.

Practical Action's Allimpaq project worked with more than 11,000 people in this region to improve their basic services such as water, sanitation and energy.  Conservation of biodiversity and sustainability were vital factors for people dependent on natural resources in ecologically sensitive areas in Peru.

A group of  24 local representatives were given practical training in technology construction, management and maintenance so that they would be able to support their communities.

This set of images shows the technologies that the community now enjoy - clean water, eco-toilets, solar powered showers and more fuel efficient and smoke free cookstoves.

Ravalina Tijera

Ravalina has four children plus four grandchildren and used to live in a one room hut with her younger children. There was no toilet, electricity, kitchen or shower.  She suffered lung problems from heating water and cooking over a smoky fire. Her children were often sick with pneumonia or eye infections from the toxic smoke. Life was very hard.

Ravalina made her living hand spinning the wool from her alpacas. Practical Action provided training in the care of alpacas and helped her to build a stove, install a solar panel and shower.   She declared,

"It's difficult to be a mother and a wife - just being a woman is a challenge. It is a hard life.  With this training I feel I can defend my livelihood."

Her community now have a solar powered spinning machine, so she can now spin better quality wool much more quickly.  This fetches a higher price so she is able to pay for education for her children.  Their health has also improved.  

Solar energy

A solar panel provides lighting for the home and powers equipment for earning a living.

Ecosan toilets

Ecosan toilets have improved the health of the community and the waste is used to fertilise crops.

Light for his town

Benito Mamani is the manager of the Quenamari micro hydro power plant, one of the technologies implemented by the Allimpaq project. He runs the plant on a daily basis, in order to provide lighting for his entire community.  Read more

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