Tag Archives: latrines

Characteristics of latrines in central Tanzania and their relation to fly catches.

Characteristics of latrines in central Tanzania and their relation to fly catches. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 18;8(7).

Irish S, Aiemjoy K, Torondel B, Abdelahi F, Ensink JH.

The disposal of human excreta in latrines is an important step in reducing the transmission of diarrhoeal diseases. However, in latrines, flies can access the latrine contents and serve as a mechanical transmitter of diarrhoeal pathogens. Furthermore, the latrine contents can be used as a breeding site for flies, which may further contribute to disease transmission. Latrines do not all produce flies, and there are some which produce only a few, while others can produce thousands. In order to understand the role of the latrine in determining this productivity, a pilot study was conducted, in which fifty latrines were observed in and around Ifakara, Tanzania.

Drop-hole modification and trap placement

Drop-hole modification and trap placement

The characteristics of the latrine superstructure, use of the latrine, and chemical characteristics of pit latrine contents were compared to the numbers of flies collected in an exit trap placed over the drop hole in the latrine. Absence of a roof was found to have a significant positive association (t=3.17, p=0.003) with the total number of flies collected, and temporary superstructures, particularly as opposed to brick superstructures (z=4.26, p<0.001), and increased total solids in pit latrines (z=2.57, p=0.01) were significantly associated with increased numbers of blowflies leaving the latrine.

The number of larvae per gram was significantly associated with the village from which samples were taken, with the largest difference between two villages outside Ifakara (z=2.12, p=0.03). The effect of latrine superstructure (roof, walls) on fly production may indicate that improvements in latrine construction could result in decreases in fly populations in areas where they transmit diarrhoeal pathogens.

How much does it cost to build a traditional latrine?

A new video by IRC’s WASHCost project examines the full costs of building traditional latrines in Mozambique.

Cost data is essential for planning by the governments. In Mozambique, this is done by local authorities. There are many challenges in getting the right data. One of them is getting data on sanitation and the investments made by households themselves, in particular when latrines are constructed with local materials.

WASHCost Mozambique managed to calculate the estimated total costs for building a traditional latrine. The cost data shows that families are massively contributing to improving public health. The data also shows that promotion of hygiene and sanitation is really worth the effort.

When there is promotion, families build latrines and spend money on them.

For more on the life-cycle costs of sanitation and hygiene read:

For more on sanitation in Mozambique read:

Why must cheap be so ugly?

Everywhere in the world, even the poorest families try to beautify their houses. Then why are low-cost latrines often so ugly, ask IRC’s Christine Sijbesma and Erick Baetings.

Outside gay paints, insidegrey slab in Bangladesh

Outside gay paints, inside
grey slab in Bangladesh

Christine: Ever since I have been working in the lower cost end of toilet designs I have wondered why most of them are so ugly. I have worked in rural sanitation in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and in urban sanitation in South East Asia since the 1970s. Everywhere I have seen how the poorest families also strive to beautify their living environment. In East Africa families paint decorative bands on huts and rake their yards, in India women make beautiful patterns in the sand in front of their katcha houses with coloured powder, and in Indonesian city kampung families tile their front stoops in gay colours and keep potted plants in tins.

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USAID/Afghanistan – Latrine & Sanitation Options Manual

Latrine & Sanitation Options Manual, 2010. USAID/Afghanistan Sustainable Water Supply & Sanitation Project. usaid

OBJECTIVE OF THIS MANUAL

Poor sanitation is endemic across Afghanistan and exacts a heavy toll on public health. In response, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), multiple donors, the United Nations, several implementers, and USAID are engaged in providing funding and technical leadership to sanitation programs and facility construction throughout the country. These resources are sorely needed, but money and technologies alone cannot solve the problem. Donors and implementers must agree to promote, and uniformly apply sound social development, public health, marketing, finance, and technical guidance to the health-focused planning of new investments and the delivery of sustainable sanitation services.

This Manual aims to meet these needs by serving as a practical guide for Component 2 of USAID‘s Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Project (SWSS) and the selection of sanitation technology options to satisfy local desires and meet national needs. While this Manual is developed specifically for SWSS, it is hoped that it will be a living document for the professionals and organizations working to address fecal contamination across Afghanistan.

INTENDED USERS OF THIS MANUAL
This Manual has been written for both engineering and non-engineering field practitioners responsible for the design, construction, and sustainable operation of sanitation programs and facilities. It is primarily intended as a guide for all aspects of SWSS‘ sanitation programs and facility improvements. The Manual is designed to be used by SWSS, its partners from across the United States Government (USG), and its Afghan collaborators to make appropriate choices and engage effectively with engineers working in the field.

13 Loneliest Outhouses on Earth

When you gotta go, you gotta go. And answering nature’s call – any time, anywhere – is certainly what the builders of these remote outhouses seem to have had in mind. Often situated in incredibly scenic locations, some of these outhouses also seem highly precarious, looking like they’re about to topple over a cliff at any minute! Was this positioning chosen in the name of ventilation? Who knows. Regardless, we hope you’ll join us as we marvel at 13 of the loneliest latrines on earth!

What better place for a little outhouse – complete with slanted roof to withstand the elements – than high above the treetops and even over the clouds? If you are interested in visiting, this is the Cougar Peak Lookout in Montana, which overlooks Clark Fork River. Simply breathtaking!

 

Uganda: Teacher falls in pit latrine as he looks for cockroaches

A teacher from St. Mary’s College, Aboke, in northern Uganda fell in a pit latrine as he looked for cockroaches for a biology practical lesson.

Newspaper New Vision reported that the teacher was given money to buy 80 cockroaches for the lesson (from where it doesn’t say), but he decided to pocket the money and look for specimens himself in a pit latrine. He had already collected 40 cockroaches before he fell in. A “good Samaritan” who came to his rescue said it took an hour to pull the teacher out of the latrine.

A eye witness claimed the teacher had drunk some local brew with his colleagues before embarking on his cockroach search.

The teacher sustained minor injuries and was admitted to a clinic in the neighouring district of Lira.

St. Mary’s College in Aboke gained international attention when 139 of its female secondary school students were abducted by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on 10 October 1996. The Aboke abductions became one of the most widely known horror stories of the entire conflict.

Source: New Vision, 30 Jul 2011

When are communal or public toilets an appropriate option?

When are communal or public toilets an appropriate option?We would all prefer to have our own household toilet rather than just access to a communal or public toilet but in some low-income urban communities, provision of individual household toilets is problematic. A recently published Topic Brief from WSUP (Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor) argues that, despite numerous challenges, communal or public toilets can be the most appropriate medium-term solution in some specific situations: notably in high-density slums with a high proportion of tenants and/or frequent flooding and water-logging. In such situations, what can be done to ensure that communal or public toilets provide a high-quality service of genuine benefit to all members of the community including women and the very poor? This Topic Brief offers an overview of these questions for sanitation professionals and planners.

Financing communal toilets
The financial sustainability and ongoing maintenance of communal and public toilets is a particular concern. The WSUP Practice Note “Financing communal toilets: the Tchemulane Project in Maputo” takes a look at issues around the financing of communal toilets in Maputo (Mozambique), including citywide scale-up costs.
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These publications form part of a newly initiated series of Practice Notes and Topic Briefs, through which WSUP aims to share experience and stimulate debate about water and sanitation service provision for the urban poor.

To keep up to date with this growing publication series, go to http://www.wsup.com/sharing/index.htm or join our mailing list at http://www.wsup.com/news/index.htm.

Guatemala: construction guides for rural WASH facilities

Five Cabin Latrine, Aqua Para La Salud (Guatemala). Photo: Global Water

NGO Global Water provides instructions for building rural water, sanitation, and hygiene-related facilities that were developed by its partner in Guatemala, Agua Para La Salud (Water for Health). The facilities include:

  • Ferro-Cement Water Storage Tank
  • Hand Washing Stations (Lavamanos)
  • Complete Spring Catchment System
  • Five Cabin Latrine
  • Gray Water Seepage Pits

View the designs at www.globalwater.org/how-to-build.html

Burkina Faso: race to achieve goals on sanitation

The government of Burkina Faso has embarked on the construction of 55,000 latrines each year to improve access to proper sanitation for the population from the present 10 percent to 54 percent by 2015.

According to the authorities, the average rate of access to sanitation in urban areas is currently 20 percent, while in rural areas, it is as low as one percent in some areas.

Burkina Faso will invest 24 million dollars in each of the next five years. The government, which now spends $8 million a year thanks to support from donors, plans to double, even triple its own annual contribution of around $2 million from the national budget.

“When you look at all sectors, things are moving. But on sanitation, a domain so fundamental to quality of life, we can see that we are very far behind,” Laurent Sédogo, Burkinabé minister for agriculture, water and fisheries resources told IPS.

“To put it plainly, out of every 1,000 people, only 100 have adequate (sanitation) infrastructure. The other 900 must take to the bush and, to protect their modesty, many wait until the dead of night because of the loss of vegetation,” Sédogo said.

Amélie Ouédraogo, a resident of the Tanghin neighbourhood of the Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou, said that construction of latrines will permit the dead to regain their peace. “Even the cemeteries are not safe when night falls. We see people headed there, but we cannot prevent them from relieving themselves.”

According to Ouédraogo, the situation is even more dire during the rainy season, because the water which flows through the streets, a favourite playground for children, is polluted. “We have cases of diarrhoea, but people refuse to make the link between these illnesses and their causes.”

Mahamoudou Sana, a merchant in one of Ouaga’s livestock markets said, “Once we have latrines, both we and our customers can make ablutions and wash ourselves before prayers. Previously, we had to hide ourselves in tall bush to relieve ourselves during the day.”

The ministry of health underlines that the absence of toilets leads to illness, notably diarrhoea, which is responsible for 58 percent of child deaths in Burkina.

According to non-governmental organisation WaterAid, some 2,000 children die every day. The NGO adds that simply using toilets could reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by 40 percent; clean toilets, combined with safe drinking water and good hygiene, cases of diarrhoea could be reduced by 90 percent.

WaterAid is worried that 90 percent of African nations will not achieve the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation, and says that African heads of state – who re-committed themselves to promoting maternal health at the July summit of the African Union – to resolve questions of sanitation if they want to reduce child and maternal mortality.

In rural areas, where 80 percent of Burkina Faso’s population lives, the government’s plan is for 395,000 households to build toilets, as well as the construction of 12,300 public latrines. The programme also foresees 222,000 new household toilets in urban centres, alongside 900 public latrines in schools, health centres, markets and public transit points.

The Burkinabé president, Blaise Compaoré, personally participated in the launch of the campaign, with an eye to enlisting both the general population and international financial partners to make sanitation a national priority.

The government offensive comes after finding that the pace of progress is insufficient to attain the goal on sanitation in a context of rapid population growth. According to the last census in 2006, Burkina Faso’s growth rate of three percent is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa and the world.

“Across West and Central Africa, coverage in urban areas varies between 30 and 60 percent, while in rural areas the rate is from 1 to 22 percent,” says Armah Klutsé, of the Regional Centre for Low-cost Water Supply and Sanitation (known by its French acronym, CREPA).

With headquarters in Ouagadougou, CREPA is active in 17 West and Central African countries, where it supports governments in the design and implementation of policy on sanitation and potable water.

“With this display of political will, it seems that action will be taken to achieve (sanitation goals),” Klutsé says.

Source: Brahima Ouédraogo, Inter Press Service / allAfrica.com, 31 July 2010

Uganda: resident demolishes latrine over phone

Residents in Kitagata sub-county were shocked when a man demolished a neighbour’s latrine over a mobile phone recently. The man, only identified as Byamugisha had gone to answer nature’s call from a neighbour’s latrine.

As he was leaving, his phone slipped through his hands and fell in the latrine. He begged neighbours to assist him to get his phone to no avail. Not wanting to lose the phone, he demolished the latrine and got out his phone. He however refused to reconstruct it. This prompted the owner to report the matter to the LC officials.

The local council chairman ordered Byamugisha to construct the latrine or he would be taken to Police and jailed. He has since not been seen in the village.

Source: New Vision Online, 27 Nov 2009