Conclusion of Community Latrine Project – Togo
This project was to develop a set of ecological community latrines (sometimes called eco-san latrines) to serve the population and visitors in a location where no public latrines existed.
PCV Landis reports:
The community feels that they have reached the goals and objectives as the latrines were completed roughly on schedule. They have already begun operating the latrines for public use and all the responsibilities in regards maintaining the latrines have been assigned to designated persons.
This goes to demonstrate that they have the will and the capacity not only to change their lives but the lives of their children as well since latrines could last generations if preserved in good working order.
With the project's completion, the 150 villagers now have an adequate place to defecate and urinate. They have also been trained by the local PCV and health workers on how to maintain this specific type of latrine.
The community members have been shown how the human waste can be stored and applied safely in a garden, to act as fertilizer without illness befalling those who eat the garden's produce.
The quarter development council has gained experience on how to manage a development project, and what obstacles tend to appear when such an activity begins, and how to avoid them.
Trust has been increased among the members of the community. The project has given community members the motivation to embark on other project ideas to develop the quarter. With one success it is possible they can defeat many decades of the cynicism that hangs around development work like a cloud.
The quarter community members have taken on the responsibility for the maintenance of the latrines and all the costs associated with them. These costs will come out of revenue gained from non-community members who use the latrines and pay a user fee. If these funds are insufficient, the community itself will provide the funds.
They will maintain the latrines by emptying the fecal matter every 6 months and the containers of urine as they fill up.
They will use the human waste for fertilizer in a nearby garden so that other villagers can see that such a fertilizer is safe and effective to use.
The development council now has both the experience in project management and design to use this project as a springboard for other project ideas.
We wish to thank Peace Corps Volunteer A. Landis for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.