– Affecting Change, Building Community –
Seguin: Dry-Composting Latrine
During April 2012, having received a generous grant through an online voting process from Cultivate Wines, CDi returned to Seguin to construct another free public latrine, this time at the Ecole National, just steps away from the crowded Seguin marketplace. We were assisted by Joe Duplan and Guypson Catalis, who had implemented this eco-friendly composting latrine model before and who were instrumental in overseeing the construction while training local masons and workers.
This latrine has several advantageous and innovative features compared to the previous model of latrine we had constructed (see specifications here). The latrine will serve a student population of over 300 kids plus residents living nearby.
In addition, CDi added a huge organic school garden using heirloom seeds which will allow for seeds to be saved and re-planted. This is important as presently all seeds planted in the region are genetically-modified "terminator seeds" which the farmer must pruchase anew and at high costs each planting season.
Students and community members were instructed on proper use of the latrine, the right application of compost on and maintenance of the garden where several dozens of varieties have been planted. Several beds feature trellises made of local bamboo and local youth quickly and enthusiastically picked up on this new skill.
School director Mr. Pierre Lafont expressed his gratitude and promised to maintain the up-keep of the project.
March 2013 -- Update
During March 2013 CDi returned to Seguin for a brief visit and to follow-up on the latrine project.
We made several smaller repairs to the roofing and plumbing. We also repeated our community-training, particularly with the 800 children attending the Ecole Nationale. This included distributing Creole-language guides on how to properly use and maintain the latrine, as well as taking 10 kids at a time inside the latrine stalls to visually point and explain the right way of using it.
The latrine is now open and fully functional, with a rainwater collection system and a handwashing station to be installed in the near future. The local bakery agreed to deliver several buckets of ashes each week to be thrown into the latrine for odor-control and for speeding up the biological decomposing process.
Students and teachers alike expressed their sincere desire to keeep this latrine in great condition so that it may serve as model for future projects of the same nature in the area. Agreed upon follow-up visits by a CDi associate in Haiti will ensure continous maintenance.
Next steps to this project may include the design and implementation of clean fuel and cook stove project at the school's kitchen. Currently, the conditions in the school kitchen are appaling. Smoke from firewood (two full donkey loads per day) fills the air in a room without ventilation. The cost to human and environmental health is substantial, and the application of a clean cook stove project will help to reduce both respiratory diseases and deforestation.
Seguin: Pit Latrine
CDi initiated and completed the first free community latrine project in Seguin from January 21st - February 2nd, 2011. The need for this project was dire as the Seguin marketplace serves as a meeting point for tens of thousands of people who come to buy and sell goods on a daily basis. The spread of cholera at the time was the biggest factor in deciding to quickly plan and complete this project.
The result of the project was an enclosed, six person stall latrine which is located on the busiest road leading into the actual market. CDi has arranged for several local people to be responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the latrine which includes the adding of ash into the latrines to keep pests and odors from taking it over and to help decompose the matter inside the 20 ft deep pit below.
Unfortunately, heavy rains subsequently destroyed the support structure of the construction and this latrine had to be razed. For a view of what it looked like when it was in use, please visit this photo gallery.
Health & Sanitation: Community Latrine Project