33. Building and maintaining latrines
- Many diseases (including diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis E and A) spread to others when faeces contaminate water, hands, food or flies and enter another person’s mouth. This form of transmission is called “faecal-oral”.
- Using a latrine and disposing of faeces properly can save many lives during an epidemic.
|Why build latrines?|
Many types of latrines, such as pit latrines, can be built easily with local materials. The type of latrine you build will depend on:
- The preferences of the community.
- The soil type and how close the water in the ground is to the surface (the water table).
- How much space the community has.
- The location of water sources.
- The number of people who will use the latrine(s).
Ask the WASH focal point or your volunteer supervisor for information on how to build latrines.
Building latrines in places where doing so is difficult
- Urban areas may have little space to build latrines. It is hard to dig latrines where the ground is hard and rocky; where the soil is thin; where the soil is unstable; or where the water level is very high (just below the surface), for example after floods.
- In these situations, you still have options. Involve members of the community in finding a solution that will work for them.
- You might consider the following options: to build raised latrines (that use large tanks or other containers to hold the faeces); to use plastic bags; to build small (family sized) container latrines; to build raised composting latrines; to employ other forms of emergency toilet.
|Important things to remember about latrines|