Ecological Outhouses Projects:
Different county governments and health departments have worked with Manos Hermanas to help families build their own ecological, ventilated, dry pit outhouses in rural areas with no sewage systems. We visited the first unit we built in an isolated, desert mountain village. It was still clean with no smell and no flies some fifteen years later, in stark contrast to the usual pit outhouses across the country. This “user friendly” latrine helps break the fecal – oral cycle of diseases, which have long been a major cause of death for children under 6 years of age in Mexico. We have been able to help build some 140 outhouses in about 11 communities.
How does it work? The wind is trapped and flows down the seat.
Because we had coordinated our projects with the State Health Department, they asked us to help in their efforts to stop a hepatitis epidemic that was spreading from one community to a small city down stream. After the joint project, there were no more new cases of hepatitis in the area. They then requested our help for another community with a dysentery epidemic that was killing small children. They later informed us of the marked decrease of fecal borne diseases where we had helped build units, up to 90% in some areas.
To participate in the projects, each family agrees to: dig their pit; provide sand, gravel, and the less expensive materials. We agree to purchase the more expensive construction materials: urine separator seats, re-bar, lime, cement, bricks, and chimney pipe. Experienced volunteers assist the local families and monitor the construction progress.
For just a moment, think about this highly important technology:
Expected useful life:
Hurdles to overcome:
This is recommended for:
Communities without basic sanitation services.