Construct Dry Latrines
Construct Dry Latrines
Haiti needs environmentally sensitive latrines in both rural and urban areas of the country. We recommend and plan to construct Dry Latrines. Dry Latrines are sanitary, good for the environment, do not use water and do not smell.
Let’s do some “straight talk” about the bodily function of elimination in a developing country. Imagine this scenario: You are extremely poor, your two or three room house consists of sleeping areas, dirt floors, no running water or plumbing, and no electricity. Most functions, such as bathing, cooking, and washing clothes, takes place outside. There is no bathroom, no latrine. Then answer this question: How would you and your family handle the necessary function of bodily elimination?
Let’s be honest … you would probably do as the Haitians do. Find a discrete area, perhaps behind a bush, and eliminate. And, if you had small children and didn’t have (and certainly couldn’t afford) disposable diapers, would you follow the Haitian’s customary practice and let your babies and toddlers go without pants until they were potty trained?
Their system makes practical sense until one considers the sanitary side of things. Many of the Haitian boys and girls have worms. They play in the same ground that may have been used for elimination purposes.
The first Dry Latrine will be built at the Lambert School compound to replace the old, unsanitary latrines it now has. To be honest, these latrines are really less sanitary than if they simply used the good old outdoors.
A Dry Latrine is built above the ground – no longer in a pit underground where it can pollute the ground water and wells. The waste is contained in two repository containers. The first repository container is used for approximately six months and then closed for six months while it is drying. The second repository is then put to use. By the time the second repository has been in use for six months, the waste in the first repository has had time to dry and become fertilizer, which is spread on the gardens and mixed into the soil.
Infancy death rates could be decreased and the health of toddlers, as well as the rest of the population, could be strengthened with the construction of sanitary Dry Latrines.
- $2,500 – $5,000 builds the Lambert Community Center Latrine
(size, etc. determines cost)
- $850 – $1000 builds a home Latrine