How can sanitation be improved?

There are a number of simple ways to improve sanitation and reduce the risk of children getting diarrhoea. All stools must be passed or deposited into a flush, chemical or pit toilet:

  • A simple pit toilet: The pit must be dug less than a metre wide and at least 1 to 2 metres deep, 20 metres or more away from houses or water sources. The deeper the pit the better. The pit must be covered with a slab or platform, having a single round hole which must be covered with a lid to keep out flies and keep in the smell. Throwing in lime, ash or soil after each use will help control flies and smell.
  • A Ventilated Improved Toilet (VIP Toilet): The pit should be covered by a slab with two holes. An outhouse should be built over the larger, central hole while a ventilation pipe should be placed in the second smaller hole which is at one end of the slab. The top of the ventilation pipe must be covered with a fly screen. The door of the toilet should face into the wind. The outhouse should be dark inside with no cover over the seat. Air flow in the pit is down the large hole and up the small hole. Smell and flies escape up the pipe where the flies are trapped.

Effective, cheap sanitation can be provided with a pit or VIP toilet.

Where affordable, a chemical or flush toilet should be used. If no toilet is available, all stools must be buried immediately.

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