After about 2.5 weeks of digging, the bathroom pit was completed. Because of local water pumps not too far from the school site we decided to make the hole only about 15 feet deep. But at over 9 feet wide, and with the help of natural ebb and flow of percolation we are confidant that the bathroom will be in use for at least the next 10 years.
Many people have asked why we do not use a septic system. My two largest fears of building a septic are related to the bathrooms surroundings. Community farm lands (literally within 5 meters of the bathroom) and children s playgrounds (just as close). And we are unable to dig a pit deep enough for us to not worry about the physical surroundings because of the regions abnormally high water table. Others have wondered why we dont use a variety of other natural remedies to dealing with bathroom waste. The other options available work well in small populations, while this latrine will be regularly used by a population of over 200. The sheer amount of material will be very difficult to treat effectively and safely. So we are forced into relying on a ventilated pit latrine. Its nothing fancy, but it certainly works well.
|Temesgin temporaly securing chicken wire to the pits inner walls. This long with the |
timbers ensures that the pits walls wont cave in.
|Temesgin and his assistant's measuring out the pits lateral bracing|
|The finished innards of the bathroom's pit. Notice the last couple days rains.|
|Ejigu and Sallmnesh pumping the water we drink from the local watering hole. We live as the community, so we understand the potential ramifications of a poorly implemented bathroom.|