Why Latrines?

Why should you care about sanitation? How is the Global Latrine better than existing options? What is a Latrine?...

Get Informed and Change the World!

Q: What is a Latrine?

A: A latrine is an old technology, using a pit in the ground as a recepticle for human waste.

Q: Why is Sanitation such an important issue?

A: 2.6 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, this is almost two fifths of the world's population. (WHO/UNICEF)

**1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation - 4,000 child deaths a day or one child every 20 seconds. This equates to 160 infant school classrooms lost every single day to an entirely preventable public health crisis. (WHO/WaterAid)

**Diarrhoea kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. (WHO)

**One gram of human faeces can contain 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts, 100 parasite eggs. (UNICEF)

**At any given time, close to half the people in the developing world are suffering from one or more of the main diseases associated with dirty water and inadequate sanitation such as diarrhoea, guinea worm, trachoma and schistosomiasis. (UNDP Human Development Report 2006)

Q: How can a latrine help a community?

A: Latrines, clean water, and good hygiene are an integral combination to improve the health of people in developing countries. Many projects have focused on clean water and wells, but few have worked on improving sanitation.

Q: What is the state of existing sanitation?

Hierarchy of Sanitation


Q: Why not build latrines from local materials?

A: Traditionally made adobe blocks are inexpensive to make, but they do not hold up well to harsh weather condidtions. And if used to line the latrine pits they can quickly fail, leaving a community without proper sanitation.

     Although concrete is both strong and easy to use, it can be expensive to import and is not a cost effective material for rural communities. It also requires a skilled labor crew who is familiar with concrete construction.

     The Global Latrine is both cost effective and eliminates the added expense of skilled labor and importing materials. The Global Latrine is designed to be easily installed and maintained by anyone.

Here is information directly from UNICEF

UNICEF: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene