Conclusion of Neareay Health Center Latrine Project – Cambodia

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Olson.

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

The project was to build a latrine to be used by the patients at Neareay Health Center.

Laura reports:

There was signification delay in the construction of the latrine due to Khmer New Year and other Cambodian holidays in April and May. Originally, the health center was set to officially open at the end of May, 2013. However, due to decisions made by the Ministry of Health and Operational District of Chhuk leaders, the opening ceremony of the health center was yet again postponed until June 21st.

Construction began in early June which included setting the foundation of the latrine. However, Operation District administrators requested that construction and completion of the latrine resume following the opening ceremony. Consequently, the foundation was covered with gravel and the latrine’s location was moved to another place.

The construction of the latrine began once again the first week of July, 2013, at the new location, which was considered more safe and sanitary. The foundation was placed west of the incinerator and hand-pump well. An above-ground water basin, 3 m deep and 6 m wide, which collects rain water, is approximately 6 m north of the latrine.

The foundation of the latrine consists of a red brick and cement base. The structure consists of a wooden frame and red brick walls. The front side/entrance to the latrine is 3 m in height, and 2 ½ m in length. The sides of the structure are 2 m wide and the back wall is 2 ½ m in height, creating an angled rooftop. The side and back walls have slotted ventilation windows located near the roof approximately 2 m high.

Following the construction of the structure, the inside of the latrine was built. The water basin was formed with red brick and can hold approximately 500 liters of water. The water basin has pipes that lead to the outside of the latrine and are intended for draining and cleaning. A faucet on the outside of the basin is for patients to use to wash their hands. The water basin will be filled with water pumped, via a motor-powered pump, from the large water basin located outside of the latrine, as well as from a nearby pond.

There is an area to the right of the water basin, intended for the use of patients for bathing. To the left of the water basin is the squat toilet, which is elevated approximately 30 cm from the floor of the latrine. The elevation of the toilet enables waste matter to be collected into a single pit located beneath the earth approximately 1 m south of the latrine. The single pit is properly ventilated and has a removable slab for pit-emptying.

The floor and walls around the squat toilet are made of ceramic tiles for ease of cleaning. The outside and inside red brick walls were smoothed out with plaster and painted white. The base red brick was reinforced with cement. The roof is made of a synthetic fiber board that is designed to keep the building cooler.

The latrine will primarily be utilized by patients and guests using the health center services. There are now four restrooms total within the health center grounds. Two restrooms are intended for staff use only and the other two for patient use only. Three of the restrooms are located within the facility, one on the ground floor and two on the second floor of the building. The latrine created with the Appropriate Projects funding is separate from the main facility and is located approximately 20 m southwest and behind the building.

The commune chief and HC director both expressed their gratitude for the contribution to their community. The latrine project has caught the interest of neighboring directors of schools and health centers that are also in need of renovations or repairs to latrines, wells, and other water sources.

Thank you for providing the funds. So many people in my community are anxious to get more projects like this going.

We are grateful to Laura for completing this project.