Improving Latrine Access

  • Health
  • Community Growth
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Ethiopia
This project is led by Eileen Malecki, a Volunteer from Illinois

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Our project, improving latrine access, aims to achieve three intertwined goals: First, that community spaces will have usable latrines. Second, that hand washing will occur after latrine use in the local community. Lastly, that improved latrine access and sanitation will result in a decrease in the prevalence of infectious diseases. These goals were created in response to the prevalence of diseases in our community caused by contaminated water, which is directly as a result of lack of latrine access and use. This project will increase the number of latrines available in public spaces, specifically in areas where people tend to gather or pass through. In addition to creating the latrines, this project will be coupled with an awareness campaign surrounding the causes and impact of infectious disease caused by lack of suitable latrines as well as a push for hand washing in order to move towards our ultimate vision of a healthier and more productive community. The bulk of the project’s resources are local; all wood, tools, and labor will be sourced from the community. However, in order to make more sustainable latrines for long-term use, we will be using sheet metal and cement slabs in the construction of each latrine. By the end of the project time frame, we hope to see an increase in the number of community members with the knowledge and skills to practice improved sanitation measures.

By having examples of improved latrines in the community and demonstrating the ability to use locally sourced materials to build such latrines, we hope to encourage further building of latrines at the household level. By using local labor, the project will have the dual impact of teaching latrine building skills to the community and creating a resource for future use in the new latrines. Associating these latrines with places in the community where they can be maintained, these latrines can be used for continued lessons about hand washing, latrine use, and latrine maintenance. Additionally, by creating safe, useable latrine spaces, the spread of infectious disease can be decreased in our community resulting in healthier, more productive community members.

In order to increase the sustainability of this project, we plan to start with a limited number of locations with built-in oversight to insure that latrines are maintained over time. In order to do this, we are targeting key populations and public spaces. We chose the health posts because each community has one, the bus station/market area because it draws a significant number of people each week from surrounding communities, and a limited number of roadside locations where foot traffic is most common. We intend to test the success of the project on this level before ideally expanding it to include an improved latrine in every community area. In order to upkeep latrines, health extension workers will oversee the maintenance and cleaning with the help of 1:5 network leaders and Health Development Army Leaders.

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