Who doesn’t want to have a toilet in the house!?
There’s of course an obvious answer to the rhetorical question above – for most of us. But not necessarily so in Turkana – and in Loki – where the tradition amongst this nomadic people requires the individual to be able to inspect his feces in order to determine his state of health! And if your bowels are emptied somewhere far out in the barren steppe where the scorching sun will quickly eliminate most of the bacteria, then what’s the problem! And who will be able to identify his stools at the bottom of a latrine pit?
However in Loki, where many residential areas are extremely congested with huts and houses often within arms lengths of each other, feces left in the open behind houses and bushes can have all sorts of ill consequences! When we run our ”Latrine Seminars” for new beneficiares, we usually illustrate how flies will oscillate between feces and food and people etc. That small piece of theater hits home. It is not difficult then to understand the influence of poor sanitation on the state of general health!
Queue instead of Arguments
So these days we no longer need to come up with arguments for the advantage of having a clean and proper latrine on the compound or nearby. Rather people are queuing to become beneficiaries in our cost-sharing latrine project. The recipients agree to dig the pit according to our specifications, to provide sand and ballast, water the concrete slab while it’s curing and to help mount the house when its time to put it all in place. And the contract also calls for regular cleaning and care.
10-25 Users per latrine
To date we have installed some 120 latrines in the wider Loki community. And government health officers have taken note of a significant improvement in sanitation and health due to this project. Some latrines have been given to school, churches and institutions, but most of them are serving in the residential areas and as many as 25 people can be using one single latrine – where there were none before! You may be able to imagine the smell and the health risks in Loki in days past?
We have just launched the manufacture and installation of another 20 plus latrines. A couple of days ago we ran a Latrine Seminar for another happy and eager group of beneficiaries and my men in the workshop are busy cutting, bending and welding the chassis for the next batch. Pouring of the slabs are done on site where the pits are dug.
One of my co-workers, Duncan, who shares his latrine with another 10 people told me how it is has become quite obvious how people who have access to a proper latrine are generally much healthier these days!
A Good and Lasting Christmas Present!
If you wish to be part of improving the health and environment of 10-20 people in our area, buying a Latrine for 300 USD is definitely one effective way of becoming involved.
When the pit is full after some years, the whole assembly, including slab is easily moved on top of another new pit nearby by the help of some strong arms. And then planting a tree in the old hole with its tons of rich soil will ensure that nothing is wasted!
Why not buy a Christmas Latrine for Loki at our support organisation’s Web Shop Children’s Mission
With love from your emissaries in Loki – KeA & Birgitta
And please take this note of the exhortation below!: