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Newsletter - November 2020

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

Dear Friends of Tui'k Ruch’ Lew,

This month we are thrilled to announce that we are embarking on a new and exciting project designed to take action on faecal pollution which is threatening the very existence of Lake Atitlan, the availability of pure drinking water for all of us living around the lake and the future of Lake Atitlan as a tourist destination.

Did you know that the lake currently serves as a sewage dump for 10 out of 17 of the lakeshore communities? In 2012, at least 1.4 million cubic meters of untreated sewage entered the precious freshwater source. That is a lot of poop -- threatening the drinking water of more than 100’000 indigenous people. In addition, the lack of sanitation infrastructure contributes to massive greenhouse gas emissions from the aerobic decomposition in leaching pit latrines. This is accelerating the climate crisis.

Our at-the-source, sustainable sanitation solution, of biogas digesters connected to toilets, will limit global warming, protect ecosystems while improving the livelihood of the people. Tui‘k Ruch’ Lew has experience and expertise in developing culturally sensitive, impactful programs. For instance, we reduce deforestation and eliminate household air pollution through our improved cookstove program featuring over 2,000 stoves. We are now certified by VERRA in carbon emission reductions and for 8 Sustainable Development Goals. This is a proven measure of our success!

The first biodigester will be built in a school, Low-flush toilets and carbon-rich kitchen scraps feed the biodigester and produce:

  1. free gas for cooking

  2. liquid and solid fertilizer for the school’s permaculture garden (98% pathogen-free)

All by-products will be regularly monitored for pathogens, nutrients and the caloric value of the gas. This is circularity - grow - eat - poop - cook.

The simple provision of a technical solution does not guarantee long-term adaptation. Therefore, we are designing a demonstration centre at the school, too. We expect to gain community acceptance to replicate this system, creating new job opportunities in the community.

Once established, the biodigester program will be financed through carbon credits. TRL will price the systems so they are accessible to families, subsidizing the costs with the carbon credit sales. Our team will continue to provide support to the owners while measuring the emission reductions and the impact on sustainable development goals.

Support our climate action of resource recovery from human excreta!

Donate now!

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. People around the globe will come together in unity and showing kindness and generosity.

Share our project!

Thank you,

The Tui’k Ruch’ Lew Team

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