In Peru and Colombia between 40 and 50% of the population is poor. Specifically, rural areas have the highest percentages of extreme poverty incidence. In these areas, more than 80% of rural households are dedicated to agriculture and livestock farming, especially for self-consumption (family farming). Family farming represents more than 80% of agriculture in Peru and Colombia and is characterized by: family labor, limited access to land and low productivity, especially for self-consumption.
Regarding sanitation (especially wastewater treatment) in the rural areas of Peru and Colombia, only 30-40% of the population has access to wastewater treatment technology. The lack of proper management of wastewater generates water, soil pollution and, as a result, is responsible for diseases and infant mortality.
Regarding energy supplies (electricity and fuel for cooking) in the rural areas of Peru and Colombia there is more than 90% of deficit. Rural energy household consumption in rural communities without access to electricity are dominated by demands for food baking (85%), lighting and communication and other uses (15%).
The different agencies and international organizations postulate that in order to fight against poverty and achieve the new goals of sustainable development, it is necessary to provide those who do not yet have access to low cost technologies for sanitation and clean and modern energy sources. This should also help family farmers to increase the productivity of their crops.
Built wetlands and biodigestors technologies fulfill the objective of promoting sanitation and also of supplying clean fuels in a way compatible with the sustainable development goals. Built wetlands are low cost technologies that allow natural and simple treatment of wastewater that can then be reused by irrigation, improving the productivity of crops.
Biodigestors allow obtaining, from livestock feces, biogas and natural fertilizers. Biogas can be used as a clean fuel, while natural fertilizer can increase the productivity of crops.
Both technologies also allow to treat organic waste and wastewater produced during the production processes (for example, coffee, honey and cocoa), supporting small farmers through the production of water for irrigation, energy and biofertilising that can increase the productivity of crops.
For these reasons, built wetlands and low-cost family biodigesters are technologies that are increasingly spreading to rural areas in Latin America.
Despite this, there are still financial, technological, organizational and informational barriers that prevent the spread of these technologies in this context. This project aims to address these barriers through scientific-technical studies, socio-economic studies, and the exchange and dissemination of knowledge. The general objective is to help overcome the barriers to the dissemination of built-up wetlands and low-cost digesters for access to sanitation, energy and the treatment of household waste and waste from the coffee, honey, and cocoa in the rural areas of Peru and Colombia to improve the living conditions of families and small farmers.