Conclusion of Jappineh Health Center Latrine Project – The Gambia

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Tanya Hahni.

To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build 2 sets of latrines, one for staff and visitors and the other for patients.

Tanya reports:

The sanitation project at Jappineh Health Center in the Lower River Region of The Gambia, West Africa has been completed! Four new toilets have been installed and are ready for use.

The toilets are of the pit latrine variety. This is appropriate technology for the area due to the traditional practices of the community as well as lack of resources to maintain western, flushing toilets.

The health center serves the community of Jappineh in addition to many of the surrounding villages. There is a steady stream of traffic visiting the health center daily which makes access to proper facilities a necessity. The previous toilets at the health center were over twelve years old and had reached capacity, which posed a health risk to both patients and staff.

Water Charity’s generous contribution allowed the community to build a structure that houses four new toilets, two for staff and two for patients that will serve the health center for the next fifteen years.

This project relied on the community’s contribution of labor. Water Charity’s funding was used exclusively for materials.

Local youths came together on weekends to dig out the latrines. This is done by hand with limited access to tools, and is therefore very time consuming and labor intensive.

The next step was to lay a grid of iron rods and recycled corrugate sheets over the hole. After this a concrete slab is placed over the hole and lastly a cement brick structure is built over the hole to house the toilets. Community members molded the bricks and laid the grid, after which village masons came together to build the structure.

Feedback from the community has been very positive. Both patients and staff have let me know that the creation of these toilets is greatly appreciated and that both groups feel much more comfortable using these new facilities than they did using the preexisting ones.

Staff equipped each toilet stall with a watering can and soap for hand washing and has been encouraging patients to use them consistently.

The community assures me that every time someone uses the toilet they will think of me. I’d prefer they be thinking about washing their hands after use but I appreciate the sentiment.

Thank you for the great work that you do Water Charity and its supporters!

We appreciate the completion of the project under Tanya’s direction. We are still seeking donations.