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Tired of Hearing about Latrines? Well, We're Not!!

We have made great progress these past few months in our Water and Sanitation program, thanks to funding from an International Rotary Club grant, our wonderful community workers and motivated communities. Our task was to build 210 latrines in 6 communities high up in the mountains where we have our second set of 12 Community Promoters working. They have been busy for the past two years teaching their community members about the importance of treating water for drinking, using latrines and washing their hands with soap. Once we felt the community was adequately educated and they showed evidence of changed behavior, it was time to help them build latrines - 35 in each community. Since these communities were high up in the mountains, we decided to build the walls out of tin instead of rocks and cement or concrete blocks, as we had done in the other communities. Even so, it was a challenge getting sand, cement and iron bars for the foundation and base of the latrine, PVC pipe for ventilation and tin for the roof and walls high enough into the mountains for the recipients to pick them up. But, thanks to a rented truck, committed community workers and the grace of God, all the materials were delivered and none of them were “lost” to gangs that sought to take them for their own purposes!

Drop off point for cement, PVC pipe, sand and iron bars that were all carried for hours up to each latrine recipient’s house.

The latrine holes were dug by the homeowner, who had them ready before the masons got to work.

Latrine holes were dug by the homeowner prior to starting construction

Then, the foundation was made out of rocks and cement.

Masons starting to build the foundation and supporting walls which will extend a short distance into the latrine hole.

When they pour the foundation, they embed the wooden posts in the corners, put in the PVC pipe for ventilation and build a seat on top of the hole.

The mason builds the seat on top of the latrine base. Wooden posts are already placed in the corners of the base.

This is a view inside the finished product.

Completed latrine with tin walls and roof

Some of the latrines even came with a view!

This latrine looks out over a beautiful mountain valley. Who’s going to shut the door with that view???

While they were building the latrines, our Community Coordinator, Gemi Baptiste, told us that some of the people in these communities were embarrassed that the latrine was in better shape than their homes that had been destroyed in the hurricane. So, they asked permission to use some of the tin to cover their houses and build the latrine walls out of rocks and dirt instead. What could we say? Of course, we let them make the design change. We only wished we could have built houses for them all!

The owner of this house without walls built his latrine walls out of rock so he could use the tin to cover his damaged home.

Here’s a nice double latrine for two families with a tippy-tap outside!

Double latrine after completion with a tippy-tap for hand washing.

We thought the latrines all turned out very well with their tin walls. They looked large until a tall farmer stood in front of the door!

Tall farmer standing in front of his new latrine. He might have to duck down to get inside!

We want to thank all the Rotary Clubs that participated in the Global Grant that was responsible for funding these latrines. The people in these areas were thrilled to have the latrines. As one person said, “In the past, there were two latrines in our whole community. Now, there are 35 more.” Praise the Lord and thanks to our generous donors.

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