“If I would take the time to explain my happiness, I would never finish because my joy comes from the heavens. God sent you to give me this latrine. For me, it is grace.” – Hargueritte, Haiti
For many in developing nations, a toilet is an unaffordable luxury. Adequate sanitation, like safe water, is crucial for proper hygiene and stopping water-related illness. Most of all, it’s a basic human right that gives dignity and privacy. Currently, an estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to a proper toilet. That’s one in three people who don’t have a clean, private place to go to the bathroom. For these people, a toilet is a symbol of better health, higher income, education, and improved hygiene.
At Water Missions International, we’re committed to bringing adequate sanitation to those in need. We’ve built nearly 17,000 latrines, and we’ve seen firsthand what a difference something as simple as a toilet can be for someone’s quality of life, especially for women and girls. In many cultures, women aren’t allowed to defecate in the open, even when it’s their only option. Instead they must wait until dark to relief themselves in the bush. Every time they go to the bathroom, they run the risk of assault. Often, girls miss school because of poor menstrual hygiene. Old women walk long distances over difficult terrain to relieve themselves. The hazards of a lack of sanitation go on and on.
As part of our commitment to changing the daily sanitation reality for those in need, we’re hoping to embark on a new experiment. Currently, our Health Latrines™ utilize a pour-flush toilet model. There are other types of toilets, including one that recycles human waste into compost material. Our goal is to perform a study in two adjacent rural communities in Honduras to compare and contrast a composting toilet with our pour-flush model in order to discover which toilet is the most beneficial. We want to provide the best possible sanitation solution, and this study will be able to tell us more about the social, technical, and health-related issues each model presents.
Join Dr. Jeff Deal, our Director of Health Studies, with our crowd funding project to study the best latrine solution and guide other nonprofits as we seek to give dignity to those in need.