Thursday, March 1, 2012

Water and What's In It: Building Poopers

 Every year, when rainy season hits, the little mountain town of Belen Gualcho in western Honduras has a Hepatitis A outbreak.  Many houses have no, or inadequate, latrines.  Fecal matter gets washed into the streams by the rain water and the folks below, who use this water directly out of the steams, get sick.  Basic right?  It's more complicated than you might think.

Here's a photo journal of a latrines project being carried out by my workplace, ASONOG,  with funding from the Sources youth leadership water project, of Canada World Youth.

 This household already has a latrine, but it's full, and there ain't no pump trucks in this neighbourhood.

The owner of this house does not want to sacrifice his peach tree to erect a latrine, shared between his household and that of his grandson (background).  Peaches would be a valuable asset too.  What to do?

Belen Gualcho means place of many waters.  So, it's no suprise that after digging the 3m needed for the new latrines, some beneficiaries hit water and must relocate if possible.
Houses on hills.  Water and what's in it, flows downhill to communities below.  When your upstream neighbours don't have latrines, and you drink the water directly out of the nearby stream...eww.

A kid herding mules on a mule. The pic is here because I love that shit.

Unloading the 40 of 100 toilet bowls in one of five neighbourhoods benefiting from the latrines project, funded by Canada World Youth, as part of the Sources water project.

More materials for the latrines.  Counting and recounting the metal sheets.  Everybody on the list gets two!

PVC tubing, bags of cement, rebar, and sheets of metal for the latrines. Overheard, "I'm just going to put this long tube directly into the stream." Oh man, that defeats the whole purpose dude!

The local municipal office.

Daniel leading a workshop for the beneficiaries of the latrines.  Why, where and how to construct their latrines. Cell phones on vibrate please.

Carrying off the materials up the steep hills to their houses.  The concrete and toilet bowls are awaiting them at the top.  Hopefully the materials get used for latrines and not improvements to the TV rooms in their  adobe houses (mud huts).  I'm not kidding about the TV rooms.


  1. I hope this project helps!

  2. So, what happened? Peach tree, latrine, third option?

  3. On my last visit the peach tree was still standing and the old latrine had been taken down. Construction had yet to start on the new latrine, so we'll wait and see. I hope they were able to save it!