Tag Archives: latrines

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.
_

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

Ghana, Accra: Owning Latrines “Makes us Fat” – Local Community

Generally, the main perceived advantages of latrine ownership are proximity/easy access and privacy. For the people of Gozakope in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region however, ownership of household latrines means all of these plus massive improvements in their health status.

Raymond Kotoka Lusu, Chairman, Water and sanitation (WATSAN) Committee of Gozakope, has said the introduction of the Community Led Total sanitation (CLTS) approach, which has led to the construction of latrines in various households in the small settlement, has improved health tremendously.

“We used to have diarrhea and stomach problems but now we are growing fat,” Lusu told members of the Ghana WATSAN Journalists Network (GWJN) who took a field trip to the area recently to know at first hand the state of water sanitation and hygiene issues (WASH), as well as, the state of interventions by the Professional Network Association (ProNet) Accra, a partner of WaterAid Ghana.

About a year ago, ProNet Accra introduced CLTS to the Gozakope community located in the Asutwuare Sub-district of the Dangme West District. Hitherto, the community engaged in “free range” defecation. Men, women and children alike defecated in the bush.

A defecation map showed that sometimes the indigenes “did their own thing” close to water bodies and on hills where it was very easy for water to run off into water bodies. Also, they had satellite refuse dumps scattered all around. Though, they experienced health hazards and its attendant problems, they appeared oblivious to the need for alternatives.

Derick Abandoh, ProNet Accra Officer in charge of Hygiene, said the organisation introduced the CLTS approach to the community because it saw evidence of open defecation. Besides, its research proved that there had not been any previous funding of any projects relating to WASH in the community.

Upon entry, ProNet officials took the community through pre-triggering (getting to know the community), triggering (mapping defecation routes), post triggering and the walk of shame (leading the community members to the defecation site and holding discussions at the scene). All of these were supposed to alert the community about the unpleasant outcome of defecating in the open.

The construction of the latrines was undertaken by the community members themselves, using locally available material and local labour. Some of them have estimated the construction cost to be between GH¢70 and GH¢100 [US$ 49-70].

According to the people, the latrines are helping to keep flies away, leading to fewer disease germs being spread from place to place and there is less fecal seepage into water bodies. The result has been that there have been fewer diseases – less diarrhea, less worms, less cholera, and less typhoid fever.

Lamisi J. Dabire, Communication and Campaigns Officer of WaterAid, Ghana, said “All these monies came from their own pockets; it shows their commitment.” She added, “We want to bring the self-help spirit in the community up.”

ProNet has also been working to improve water supply situation in the area [by] putting iron removal plants in some boreholes to make the water safe for use.

Source: Public Agenda / Peace FM Online, 23 Oct 2009

Nepal: Sanitation finally a priority

The diarrhoea that spread earlier in 2009 in 18 districts across Nepal killed nearly 300 people; nearly six months after the initial outbreak, four ministries have finally made a joint commitment to launch a massive water and sanitation campaign to meet the state’s target of providing complete sanitation to all by 2017.

“We were not able to launch all components of water and sanitation in a comprehensive manner earlier, which is why we had diarrhea-related deaths every year,” said Dr. Babu Ram Marasini, chief of health sector reform unit at the Ministry of Health.

The programme was launched on Global Handwashing Day on 15 October 2009 as a comprehensive and combined effort by the Ministries of Health, Education, Physical Planning and Works, and Local Development. The programme will see extension of the construction of latrines in all 75 districts, awareness programmes, establishment of a national sanitation fund among others, according to Kamal Adhikari, an official at the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage. Adhikari also said that the ministries have planned to review the existing policies to provide complete sanitation to all by 2017.

According to a report by WaterAid, about 14.2 million people do not have access to sanitation and 7.1 million lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation in the country; similarly, according to the Ministry of Health, 54 percent of the country does not have access to latrines. Likewise, only 37 percent wash their hands, and only 12 percent use soap. Also, 45 percent of deaths caused by avoidable diseases is because of unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation. “Earlier, we used to implement programmes related to water and sanitation separately but we are now planning to go ahead in a joint and comprehensive manner,” said Adhikari.

Source: The Kathmandu Post; The Rising Nepal; Gorkhapatra; Naya Patrika; Annapurna Post; Kantipur; Nepal Samacharpatra / NGO Forum, 15 Oct 2009