Conclusion of Diambo Diawbe Primary School Latrine Project – Senegal

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Evan Spark-DePass. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

This project was to build 3 ventilated improved pit latrines at the school.

Evan reports:

The Diambo Diawbe Primary School Latrine project was completed a little more than two weeks after it began. The school is now equipped with three ventilated improved pit latrines to adequately serve the sanitary and hygiene needs of 91 students and 3 teachers.

The project had to overcome a series of obstacles, including the transfer of the school’s director Monsieur Ly to another school district. Monsieur Ly had been with this project from its inception and he originally identified this project as a long standing goal of the school community.

The director of the Association Parents des Eleves Hammady Diallo stepped in to fill Monsieur Ly’s absence and was instrumental in the purchasing of materials and mobilizing community support and labor.

Another barrier to the success of the project was unforeseen costs in the implementation of the project. The village of Diambo Diawbe responded admirably to this impediment and also provided the labor necessary to dig the septic tank, make the cement bricks, build the latrine system and transport all of the construction materials.

The completed latrine system consists of 3 separate toilets each connected with piping to a main septic tank about 2 meters deep. The septic tank has an aeration pipe to facilitate the safe release of contaminants. It has also been fitted with a removable panel so that when the tank fills it can be pumped of waste and used for many years to come. The septic tank is lined with cement to ensure its structural integrity and prevent waste from permeating into the ground.

Evan reports on how the latrines were received by the community:

The community of Diambo Diawbe is very grateful for the construction of these latrines and recognizes their importance. During the construction of the latrines and digging of the septic system, impromptu social gatherings would spring up around the construction site with people making tea and lending company to whoever was working that day.

A loyal group of community members came every day to lend support and watch with excitement as the latrine system neared completion. The women of Diambo Diawbe deserve special recognition for their unflagging efforts to bring water from the well to the construction site every morning and afternoon without fail.

Since the village is close to a river, latrines and hygiene education are of essential importance in combating Schistosomiasis, which is prevalent in the area. Before these latrines were built students would relieve themselves behind classrooms creating a considerable health risk to everyone in the vicinity.

It is my hope that these bathrooms will improve the health of the community and keep students from contracting preventable illness through good hygiene practice. In the immediate future I plan to hold lessons to discuss the importance of using latrines and hand washing with the students of the school.

On behalf of everyone in Diambo Diawbe, I wish to thank you for providing the resources to complete this project.

We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funds for this project.