A US-registered non-profit dedicated to permanently improving hygiene and sanitation conditions in communities. Federal Tax ID 38-3805595
Our solution: Walu believes in Community Based Development and uses the Participatory Method. We believe communities should be the decision makers to ensure the community is empowered and has ownership.
Walu has an emphasis in sanitation & hygiene.
Our first goal is to ensure communities are using hand washing stations to stop the spread of disease. Once the community has demonstrated a commitment to washing hands, we can begin working with a leadership team to directly work with their community to build a latrine.
A dedicated leadership team is essential to the success of a project. Although it is easier to come in and simply build a latrine for communities, Walu chooses Community Based Development because without community ownership, the sustainability of a project will be short lived.
Our goal is to work with communities to equip and empower them to continue the work we began long after we leave.
Lido, Papua New Guinea
Where it all began....
As you read this, is there a bathroom nearby? We bet there is. And if you get thirsty, is there a faucet where you can get some clean water? We hope so. Are you able to wash your hands? This is a must.
Currently, one in six children that die in Papua New Guinea die from diarrhea related diseases. The bad news is that 90% of these deaths are attributed to unsanitary living conditions. The good news is preventable.
These local villagers have no running water and no toilets. What does this mean? It means they drink dirty water and use the ocean as their toilet—the same ocean where children play and people fish. Unless they improve their sanitation techniques the mortality rates of children will continue to be nearly ten times higher than those in the United States. Walu is pleased to say that Lido, PNG has an eco latrine and was trained to build more.
Cuajachillo Dos, Nicaragua
Walu was pleased to work with this community for a couple of years. They demonstrated a passion to better their community not only in sanitation/hygiene, but in holistic healthy living.
The community now knows how to build and maintain an eco latrine along with standard latrines.
San Lorenzo Valley.
In August 2020, a devastating fire caused by lightning destroyed 930 homes and took 1 life in the mountains of Santa Cruz County.
Because Walu's CEO, CJ Runyon, was a Director of Fire Cleanup in hard hit area of San Diego County after the 2003 firestorms, it was decided Walu would assist the community in fire recovery.
The first phase of fire recovery is cleanup. This is a vital phase for the mental well being of fire victims/survivors and the protection of the environment from toxic ash flow when rain arrives.
Unfortunately due to County & State regulations, the cleanup process was grossly delayed. Walu and other organizations collaborated together to help minimize the effects of toxic debris flow by barricading toxic ash with foundation, straw, tarps, and wattles. Because of these efforts and a La Nina year that of Dec 2020, toxic ash runoff due to rain was minimized. Special thanks to Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County.
User Friendly Tips for Fire Recovery
Gear & Supplies
P95 or P100 respirator, Hazmat Suit, Work Gloves, Protective Eye Gear, Steel Toed Shoes, Hat. If you do not have a hazmat suit, wear clothes you can dispose of.
Hand Washing Station
Have some sort of water available with soap that you can access without having to turn a knob. This can be used to wash off ash before drinking water, eating, or after you are finished. Take off gloves and outerwear with ash on it before eating or drinking.
In case ash or debris gets into your eye.
To clean respirators before and after use.
Sifting Safety Tips
When sifting to find anything that wasn't destroyed in the fire (there are always a few things), begin by cleaning a pathway clean of debris. This will ensure you are sure footed and not stepping on nails or anything else that could injure you. A flat head shovel is recommended to dig and scrape a clear pathway. The first pathway should be from one side of the structure to the next
Once the main pathway is made, create pathways in sections. You can begin to work in these sections to begin your search. You can either use a sifter or shake your shovel with debris to find objects. If you are in an area that you find more than one object, concentrate on this area for a little bit. Then move to the next section.
Protecting Soil & Water Sources
From Toxic Ash Flow
Shovel ash into a foundation. If there is not a foundation or there are openings, sandbags can be used to create a pond.
Straw absorbs water. Please straw above the ash. If limited straw, disperse a thick layer on the outer and inner perimeter of a foundation.
A tarp can be used to cover ash. Make sure it is weighted down with sandbags or other heavy items. Surround the perimeter with straw.
Wattles can absorb toxins. Be sure to consult a professional familiar with your particular terrain to be sure you are using them correctly and placing in an area that will not create further harm to you or your neighbors. Working with local professionals is crucial. They are familiar with your community and terrain. Sometimes those with good intentions may incorrectly advise on where to put and cause further damage when debris flow begins.
Board Of Directors
CJ Runyon - President
Zack Parker - Founder
Laura Lynn - Treasurer
Christi Grab - Secretary
Contact Walu if you would like to be a part of our volunteer team.