plan 18930 Double Pit Latrines, Cooperativa Ismael Castillo

Summary

Twelve families have no latrines; eighteen have latrines in very poor condition. The twelve without use other families' latrines, but soon all the latrines will be unusable. Families will build VIDP latrines.

  • Thumb_calamidad_lt_1
  • Thumb_sayulero_latrine_complete

Background

The people of Cooperative Ismael are mainly subsistence farmers, growing corn, wheat, sesame, and sugar cane. Many make sweets from the sugar cane to sell. One woman is a seamstress. Many of the men have emigrated to Costa Rica and El Salvador to find better work.

They have a rehabilitated well that El Porvenir supported in 2007. However, they lack adequate sanitation. Some families have no latrines, some have latrines in poor conditions. They are very poor, earning barely enough for food, so they are unable to afford the materials to build new latrines.

They are motivated to improve their situation and approached El Porvenir for support to build latrines. They are willing to contribute the labor to dig the holes, line the holes, and build the exterior structures.

The local government helped them improve the road to their community, but it is still only accessible in the dry season. They also receive some support from INTA, the Nicaraguan Institute for Agricultural Technology.

Location

El Sauce, Leon, Nicaragua

Attachments

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Focus

Primary Focus: Sanitation - Households
Secondary Focus: Hygiene Education

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 0

The community rehabilitated a well in 2007 and now have safe water to drink.

School Children Getting Water:

People Getting Sanitation: 125

30 families
33 men
36 women
56 children

People Getting Other Benefits: 125

Hygiene and sanitary education workshops to ensure improved health in the community as well as proper use and maintenance of latrines. Through the construction of the project, masonry skills are acquired that will help with the long term maintenance. Special emphasis will be given to the rotation of the pits. With the construction of the well, there is now an opportunity for the community to participate in reforestation training.

Application Type: Project Funding

Start Date: 2009-07-01

Completion Date: 2010-07-01

Technology Used:

Community learns how to build and maintain sanitation infrastructure
-Purchase and transport construction materials to community by truck and animals
-Provide training and technical assistance to community in construction, maintenance and repair of latrines
-Build latrines (hand dig two pits per latrine to depth of 9 feet, line with rocks, bricks or stones, install precast concrete slab and box seat, create walls and roof from zinc panels, install ventilation tube).

These latrines are part of a pilot double-pit VIP latrine program (standard for Nicaragua at this time are single pit VIP latrines). The superstructure shells are made of zinc and metal, so as to be easily reused (and moved) when the first pit fills.

El Porvenir has nearly 20 years of experience helping rural Nicaraguan communities build appropriate technology (wells, latrines, community washing stations, and fuel efficient stoves) as well as providing communities with the tools they need to manage their water, sanitation and forestry resources. The methodology of El Porvenir is based on three key principles: (a) community empowerment through active participation and ownership in all aspects of the project, (b) creation of sustainable organizations in the community to manage resources in the long term, and (c) focus on appropriate technology made from low-cost locally available materials that can be maintained by the community.

Phases:

The project will be done in one phase.

Community Organization:

The beneficiaries have met with the El Porvenir Promoter and agreed to carry out, use, and maintain the latrines as per the 12 norms on the use of latrines. This includes keeping them in good condition, preventing contamination of the surrounding area, and understanding how this will improve their overall health.

The community is trained in community organizing techniques and committee functioning.

Community Committee:
José Benito Icabalzeta Castillo, President
Juan Francisco Espinoza, Vice-President
Maria José Pérez , Treasurer

Latrines are built on the property of each family, so each family owns their own latrine through their labor of building it. Community ownership is felt by the community through its identification of its problem and their involvement in the sweat equity of the project.

Government Interaction:

This project is not connected to government programs, although we are close to signing an agreement with the muncipal government for them to fund 10% of all infrastructure projects.

Ancillary activities:

Health and hygiene education:
Community learns how to reduce water and sanitation related illnesses through good hygiene practices.
-Identify and train local hygiene and health promoters from the community to reinforce hygiene trainings on an ongoing basis
-Carry out household visits and community workshops to help the community to identify risky behaviors and learn good hygiene practices. Topics covered include: Definition of hygiene, 12 rules for using latrines, Why sanitation is important, Water and sanitation related diseases, The cycle of contamination, Why hand-washing is important, How to maintain and dispose of garbage, How to use and maintain wells and community washing stations, How to treat and use water, Sources of water contamination, Role and responsibilities of Community Water and Sanitation Committee members.
-Create and air health and hygiene announcements on local radio stations to reinforce community health learning and to reach a larger audience.
-Organize community clean up days to reinforce training about environmental sanitation and waste management
-Collect data from local clinics and health centers on incidence of water and sanitation related diseases (diarrhea, skin infections etc.)

Other Issues:

In order to measure the impact of our projects, we collect data several times a year from clinics serving rural districts where we have a high concentration of projects: number of visits due to diarrhea, etc. As the number decreases we feel that hygiene education has been effective.

We are reviewing our monitoring and evaluation system at this time and hope to come up with more comprehensive indicators over time.

Maintenance Revenue:

The health and hygiene education program is described in more detail above. The cost for El Porvenir is this ongoing program.

Maintenance Cost: $100

Metrics:

Prior art before metrics

Cost: $13,068

Budget attached.

Co Funding Amount:

Community Contribution Amount: $1,080

The community contribution is in-kind for digging the double pits, lining the pits, and installing the exterior structure.

The total time worked by the community in carrying out this project will be approximately 300 person-days with a value of approximately US$3.60 per day (wages generally paid in rural area for manual labor).

Fund Requested: $13,068

Implementing Organization:

Attachments

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  • 1 participant | show more

    Background

    Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

    Can you describe (apologies for the lateness) the bad condition of existing latrines - what is the problem and what type were they? Why were they not maintained and how will this approach avoid that problem. At this stage its more for records.

    Can you describe (apologies for the lateness) the bad condition of existing latrines - what is the problem and what type were they? Why were they not maintained and how will this approach avoid that problem.

    At this stage its more for records.

  • 2 participants | show more

    Clarifications of project

    Joe Madiath of Gram Vikas

    This is Christine from Gram Vikas, and I have a couple of questions / clarifications regarding your project. 1. I am a little confused as to how your double-pit latrine system works. Is it the case that you have two pits side by side and the whole latrine superstructure, and seat etc move to the other pit when the first is full? How are t...

    This is Christine from Gram Vikas, and I have a couple of questions / clarifications regarding your project.

    1. I am a little confused as to how your double-pit latrine system works. Is it the case that you have two pits side by side and the whole latrine superstructure, and seat etc move to the other pit when the first is full? How are the superstructures fixed to the ground if they need to be movable as well? How difficult is it for the communities to move the entire superstructure?

    2. How is the pit not in use protected? How is it covered? What happens to the full pit, and what is this covered with? How long does it take for each pit to fill?

    3. Can you please tell me about the long term maintenance and sustainability mechanisms in place. You mention $100 maintenance costs- this is for all 30 latrines? Is this an annual maintenance cost? Who covers this cost?

    Thank you.

    Just for general interest, and to add to the double pit latrine debate; at Gram Vikas we also use double pit latrines, but there is one concrete superstructure with a fixed ceramic pan. The pipe leading to the two soak pits splits into 2, so each pit has its own pipe. When the first pit is full, the pipe leading to the first pit can then be blocked, so the second pit comes into use. In addition each family are also encouraged to plant banana or papaya on/at the side of the soak pits to soak up some of the excess water, therefore extending the use of each pit. Each pit takes around 5-7 years to fill up, and by the time the ‘first’ pit needs to be used again, the contents have safely decomposed and can be removed, and used as fertiliser.
    Although this may not necessarily be the cheapest way, we have found this to be far the best solution, which is very sustainable and manageable for the communities.

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Christine, Yes, our latrine is quite different from yours, I can certainly understand your confusion. Yours sounds quite interesting. In most of our regions, it is too dry to use a septic type solution (at least that's what I think you are referring to here), but in one region we are looking at building a septic tank type of latrine. This...

      Christine,

      Yes, our latrine is quite different from yours, I can certainly understand your confusion. Yours sounds quite interesting. In most of our regions, it is too dry to use a septic type solution (at least that's what I think you are referring to here), but in one region we are looking at building a septic tank type of latrine. This is very new for Nicaragua. For many many years, the single pit VIP has ruled supreme here.

      1. Yes, 2 pits, side by side, one shared pit wall. The superstructure is cemented to the top of lined pit, but in such a way that it is fairly easy to remove it later and moved to the second pit. I am not a mason, so I don't know much detail on that, but our staff understand these things. The community members build their own latrines, so they come away from the construction knowing how to do this maintenance. The process is not that difficult for them to carry out.

      2. The pit not in use (you can see a photo in the document in the application called simple design or something like that) has a cement slab over it. When the time comes to switch pits, the lid and the latrine superstructure are switched. On the second switch, several years later, the first pit will be safe to empty out. The time for pits to fill depends on depth and number of family members. A 3m pit takes from 5-10 years to fill.

      3. $100 is the annual maintenance cost for all these latrines. Latrine maintenance is minimal, some cement occasionally, paint for the superstructure occasionally. The cost is covered by the community members.

      Thanks,
      Rob

  • 2 participants | show more

    Detail of project

    Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

    Would you supply the proposal with a detailed list of materials for the double pit latrine and a detail of the design such as cross section showing dimentions etc; Gracias ....Lynn

    Would you supply the proposal with a detailed list of materials for the double pit latrine and a detail of the design such as cross section showing dimentions etc; Gracias ....Lynn

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      These are up now... Thanks, Rob

      These are up now... Thanks,
      Rob

      • Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

        Rob would you suppy me with a breakdown of cost of materials and labor for one latrine. From the info sent it appears each latrine will cost about $380.00. Could you seperate the labor and materials costs for one latrine and the per item cost of the matrials?

        Rob would you suppy me with a breakdown of cost of materials and labor for one latrine. From the info sent it appears each latrine will cost about $380.00. Could you seperate the labor and materials costs for one latrine and the per item cost of the matrials?

    • Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

      Rob would you suppy me with a breakdown of cost of materials and labor for one latrine. From the info sent it appears each latrine will cost about $380.00. Could you seperate the labor and materials costs for one latrine and the per item cost of the matrials?

      Rob would you suppy me with a breakdown of cost of materials and labor for one latrine. From the info sent it appears each latrine will cost about $380.00. Could you seperate the labor and materials costs for one latrine and the per item cost of the matrials?

  • 3 participants | show more

    Design issues

    Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

    Hi, I have seen the photo in the word doc - would be easier if the photo was attached to view esp. since the photo that is attached currently is not VIDP. Even the design could be a jpg so its easier to view. It seems that to move the super structure involves masonry work. Could we put holes of a slightly bigger diameter than the posts o...

    Hi,

    I have seen the photo in the word doc - would be easier if the photo was attached to view esp. since the photo that is attached currently is not VIDP. Even the design could be a jpg so its easier to view.

    It seems that to move the super structure involves masonry work. Could we put holes of a slightly bigger diameter than the posts on the cement slab so that the posts can be lifted out and put on the other side without any masonry work?

    We need 6 holes: and the middle ones would remain common to both positions.

    Rajesh

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Rajesh, The photo was added. 6 holes, good idea, although how would they secure the superstructure without masonry? Some bolts perhaps that are masoned in? Wind is a factor, we occasionally lose roofs in big winds in some areas, so the superstructure needs to be securely attached... I will run it by the field staff, they are far more qu...

      Rajesh,

      The photo was added.

      6 holes, good idea, although how would they secure the superstructure without masonry? Some bolts perhaps that are masoned in? Wind is a factor, we occasionally lose roofs in big winds in some areas, so the superstructure needs to be securely attached... I will run it by the field staff, they are far more qualified to comment on it than I.

      Rob

      • Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

        A simple mens of tying down a latrine cabin is to place 1/4" rebars in the concrete froor at the edges ofthe concrete floor so that this rebar can be bent over the wood base of the cabin structure or holes drilled in the wood and the rebar insrted in the holes and bent over. The rebar can easily be rebent to remove cabin.

        A simple mens of tying down a latrine cabin is to place 1/4" rebars in the concrete froor at the edges ofthe concrete floor so that this rebar can be bent over the wood base of the cabin structure or holes drilled in the wood and the rebar insrted in the holes and bent over. The rebar can easily be rebent to remove cabin.

    • Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

      A simple mens of tying down a latrine cabin is to place 1/4" rebars in the concrete froor at the edges ofthe concrete floor so that this rebar can be bent over the wood base of the cabin structure or holes drilled in the wood and the rebar insrted in the holes and bent over. The rebar can easily be rebent to remove cabin.

      A simple mens of tying down a latrine cabin is to place 1/4" rebars in the concrete froor at the edges ofthe concrete floor so that this rebar can be bent over the wood base of the cabin structure or holes drilled in the wood and the rebar insrted in the holes and bent over. The rebar can easily be rebent to remove cabin.

  • 5 participants | show more

    2 reviews/discussions in 1!

    Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

    I would like the reviewers to quickly look at this application for 31 Latrines in Quisaurita, Camoapa. The proposal there is for single-pit latrines. My observation is that these single-pit latrines are unsustainable with no revenue model to build the next one. After it is full, funding is reque...

    I would like the reviewers to quickly look at this application for 31 Latrines in Quisaurita, Camoapa.

    The proposal there is for single-pit latrines. My observation is that these single-pit latrines are unsustainable with no revenue model to build the next one. After it is full, funding is requested for the next.

    So why are single pit still being proposed and built and not double?

    Gracias,
    Rajesh

    • Gilles Corcos of Agua Para la Vida (APLV)

      This is G.Corcos from Agua Para la Vida commenting on single vs double pit latrines. a. It is true that the life of a latrine is much shorter than that of a drinking water system given maintenance of the latter. A problem since latrines cost a lot. It seems that double pit latrines as proposed by El Porvenir provide cover and installation ...

      This is G.Corcos from Agua Para la Vida commenting on single vs double pit latrines.
      a. It is true that the life of a latrine is much shorter than that of a drinking water system given maintenance of the latter. A problem since latrines cost a lot. It seems that double pit latrines as proposed by El Porvenir provide cover and installation only for one at a time. One double (i.e communal) latrine (a la Bunuel) I am familiar with can be found in the garden of the APLV house in Rio Blanco. But aside from their socially provocative aspects these are essentially twice as expensive. On the other hand to dig a second pit without covering it or covering it with flimsy material is dangerous especially for the community children. Digging a shallow pit and using it temporarily while the first one is transformingt the fecal matter so that it can be removed, (as EP recommends )seems sensible . But it would seem even better to do that when the first pit has been filled, for that requires a minimum of material. Anyway I'd like to see further exchange on that issue.

      • Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

        I tend to agree with Giles. The main concern here is the removal of fecal material from the environment. The first formal latrine does this and the construction of a second pit in anticipation of the first filling in 10 years ( our experience). The second pit is a simple affair and can be suggested or taught without the actual constructio...

        I tend to agree with Giles. The main concern here is the removal of fecal material from the environment. The first formal latrine does this and the construction of a second pit in anticipation of the first filling in 10 years ( our experience). The second pit is a simple affair and can be suggested or taught without the actual construction taking place well in advance of the need. In ten years this second structure could very likely disappear. We need to give locals some credit for figuring out the interim option since it is doubtful many women would put up with an interim option that does not have some degree of formality and privacy.
        Rule number #1 in field sanitation is K.I.S.S--- Keep It Simple __________ .

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles, It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments: 1. Why continue with single pit at all? Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solut...

          Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles,

          It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments:

          1. Why continue with single pit at all?

          Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solution - although we are almost convinced. Perhaps they are, and perhaps another solution will come along that is even more sustainable. The main open question is: will the families consistently switch pits without El Porvenir intervention? (after the maintenance training) This we don't know yet. Once we have the model figured out, both physically and educationally, then we can implement more widely.

          2. Twice as expensive?

          They certainly have been, while not twice as expensive, about 50-60% more expensive than the single pits, in our first pilots. And this has been the main factor that has kept single pits in the game, so to speak.

          However, in the pilot, we did 2 pits that were both 3m deep, same as the single pit. So, we are planning to reduce that to 1.5 or 2m in this next pilot, with the logic that there is no need to dig the full 3m since the pits will be switched anyway. By reducing the pit depth, the pits will be simply switched more often and reduce some upfront costs. At 1.5m, the costs are very similar to a single pit. This makes them more viable for many of our donors; and we will see results sooner on if the community members really do switch the pits.

          3. Let the community handle the second pit.

          Indeed, this is what we are doing with the old single VIPs, train the community members to dig a temporary pit while the original one decomposes. Your question seems to be: are we over-designing with a double-pit? The problem with the temporary pit is that we have only had mixed success with convincing people to do that, although perhaps this will improve with time. On the other hand, having the second pit already available doesn't guarantee action either. Which model will work better in the long run? I am not sure, or at least I have no evidence one way or the other yet; but I would guess that the double pit will have a more likely chance of success in the long run if people have an easier mechanism for recycling their compost safely. It is a more sanitary solution as well, since a temporary pit may not be sealed safely from animals. I am putting my money on the double-pit, but still am waiting on the evidence before giving my final answer.

          We welcome your further comments, hopefully I didn't miss anything. Lynn, there is a list of materials up in the app for you.
          Rob

          • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

            Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

            Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

            In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

            But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

            So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

            Rajesh

            • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

              Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

              Rajesh,

              Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

              Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

              Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

              Rob

          • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

            Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

            Rajesh,

            Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

            Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

            Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

            Rob

        • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

          Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

          Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

          In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

          But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

          So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

          Rajesh

          • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

            Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

            Rajesh,

            Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

            Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

            Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

            Rob

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

          Rajesh,

          Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

          Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

          Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

          Rob

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles, It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments: 1. Why continue with single pit at all? Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solut...

        Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles,

        It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments:

        1. Why continue with single pit at all?

        Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solution - although we are almost convinced. Perhaps they are, and perhaps another solution will come along that is even more sustainable. The main open question is: will the families consistently switch pits without El Porvenir intervention? (after the maintenance training) This we don't know yet. Once we have the model figured out, both physically and educationally, then we can implement more widely.

        2. Twice as expensive?

        They certainly have been, while not twice as expensive, about 50-60% more expensive than the single pits, in our first pilots. And this has been the main factor that has kept single pits in the game, so to speak.

        However, in the pilot, we did 2 pits that were both 3m deep, same as the single pit. So, we are planning to reduce that to 1.5 or 2m in this next pilot, with the logic that there is no need to dig the full 3m since the pits will be switched anyway. By reducing the pit depth, the pits will be simply switched more often and reduce some upfront costs. At 1.5m, the costs are very similar to a single pit. This makes them more viable for many of our donors; and we will see results sooner on if the community members really do switch the pits.

        3. Let the community handle the second pit.

        Indeed, this is what we are doing with the old single VIPs, train the community members to dig a temporary pit while the original one decomposes. Your question seems to be: are we over-designing with a double-pit? The problem with the temporary pit is that we have only had mixed success with convincing people to do that, although perhaps this will improve with time. On the other hand, having the second pit already available doesn't guarantee action either. Which model will work better in the long run? I am not sure, or at least I have no evidence one way or the other yet; but I would guess that the double pit will have a more likely chance of success in the long run if people have an easier mechanism for recycling their compost safely. It is a more sanitary solution as well, since a temporary pit may not be sealed safely from animals. I am putting my money on the double-pit, but still am waiting on the evidence before giving my final answer.

        We welcome your further comments, hopefully I didn't miss anything. Lynn, there is a list of materials up in the app for you.
        Rob

        • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

          Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

          Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

          In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

          But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

          So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

          Rajesh

          • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

            Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

            Rajesh,

            Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

            Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

            Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

            Rob

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

          Rajesh,

          Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

          Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

          Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

          Rob

      • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

        Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

        Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

        In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

        But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

        So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

        Rajesh

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

          Rajesh,

          Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

          Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

          Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

          Rob

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

        Rajesh,

        Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

        Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

        Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

        Rob

    • Lynn Roberts of Agua Para La Salud (APLS)

      I tend to agree with Giles. The main concern here is the removal of fecal material from the environment. The first formal latrine does this and the construction of a second pit in anticipation of the first filling in 10 years ( our experience). The second pit is a simple affair and can be suggested or taught without the actual constructio...

      I tend to agree with Giles. The main concern here is the removal of fecal material from the environment. The first formal latrine does this and the construction of a second pit in anticipation of the first filling in 10 years ( our experience). The second pit is a simple affair and can be suggested or taught without the actual construction taking place well in advance of the need. In ten years this second structure could very likely disappear. We need to give locals some credit for figuring out the interim option since it is doubtful many women would put up with an interim option that does not have some degree of formality and privacy.
      Rule number #1 in field sanitation is K.I.S.S--- Keep It Simple __________ .

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles, It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments: 1. Why continue with single pit at all? Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solut...

        Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles,

        It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments:

        1. Why continue with single pit at all?

        Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solution - although we are almost convinced. Perhaps they are, and perhaps another solution will come along that is even more sustainable. The main open question is: will the families consistently switch pits without El Porvenir intervention? (after the maintenance training) This we don't know yet. Once we have the model figured out, both physically and educationally, then we can implement more widely.

        2. Twice as expensive?

        They certainly have been, while not twice as expensive, about 50-60% more expensive than the single pits, in our first pilots. And this has been the main factor that has kept single pits in the game, so to speak.

        However, in the pilot, we did 2 pits that were both 3m deep, same as the single pit. So, we are planning to reduce that to 1.5 or 2m in this next pilot, with the logic that there is no need to dig the full 3m since the pits will be switched anyway. By reducing the pit depth, the pits will be simply switched more often and reduce some upfront costs. At 1.5m, the costs are very similar to a single pit. This makes them more viable for many of our donors; and we will see results sooner on if the community members really do switch the pits.

        3. Let the community handle the second pit.

        Indeed, this is what we are doing with the old single VIPs, train the community members to dig a temporary pit while the original one decomposes. Your question seems to be: are we over-designing with a double-pit? The problem with the temporary pit is that we have only had mixed success with convincing people to do that, although perhaps this will improve with time. On the other hand, having the second pit already available doesn't guarantee action either. Which model will work better in the long run? I am not sure, or at least I have no evidence one way or the other yet; but I would guess that the double pit will have a more likely chance of success in the long run if people have an easier mechanism for recycling their compost safely. It is a more sanitary solution as well, since a temporary pit may not be sealed safely from animals. I am putting my money on the double-pit, but still am waiting on the evidence before giving my final answer.

        We welcome your further comments, hopefully I didn't miss anything. Lynn, there is a list of materials up in the app for you.
        Rob

        • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

          Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

          Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

          In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

          But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

          So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

          Rajesh

          • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

            Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

            Rajesh,

            Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

            Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

            Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

            Rob

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

          Rajesh,

          Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

          Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

          Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

          Rob

      • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

        Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

        Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

        In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

        But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

        So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

        Rajesh

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

          Rajesh,

          Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

          Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

          Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

          Rob

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

        Rajesh,

        Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

        Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

        Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

        Rob

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles, It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments: 1. Why continue with single pit at all? Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solut...

      Dear Rajesh, Lynn, Gilles,

      It's a pleasure to share in this discussion with you. Let me reply to some of the questions/comments:

      1. Why continue with single pit at all?

      Well, doubles are still more expensive than single VIPs, although more on that in #2, and we still haven't proven (at least to ourselves) that the doubles are best solution - although we are almost convinced. Perhaps they are, and perhaps another solution will come along that is even more sustainable. The main open question is: will the families consistently switch pits without El Porvenir intervention? (after the maintenance training) This we don't know yet. Once we have the model figured out, both physically and educationally, then we can implement more widely.

      2. Twice as expensive?

      They certainly have been, while not twice as expensive, about 50-60% more expensive than the single pits, in our first pilots. And this has been the main factor that has kept single pits in the game, so to speak.

      However, in the pilot, we did 2 pits that were both 3m deep, same as the single pit. So, we are planning to reduce that to 1.5 or 2m in this next pilot, with the logic that there is no need to dig the full 3m since the pits will be switched anyway. By reducing the pit depth, the pits will be simply switched more often and reduce some upfront costs. At 1.5m, the costs are very similar to a single pit. This makes them more viable for many of our donors; and we will see results sooner on if the community members really do switch the pits.

      3. Let the community handle the second pit.

      Indeed, this is what we are doing with the old single VIPs, train the community members to dig a temporary pit while the original one decomposes. Your question seems to be: are we over-designing with a double-pit? The problem with the temporary pit is that we have only had mixed success with convincing people to do that, although perhaps this will improve with time. On the other hand, having the second pit already available doesn't guarantee action either. Which model will work better in the long run? I am not sure, or at least I have no evidence one way or the other yet; but I would guess that the double pit will have a more likely chance of success in the long run if people have an easier mechanism for recycling their compost safely. It is a more sanitary solution as well, since a temporary pit may not be sealed safely from animals. I am putting my money on the double-pit, but still am waiting on the evidence before giving my final answer.

      We welcome your further comments, hopefully I didn't miss anything. Lynn, there is a list of materials up in the app for you.
      Rob

      • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

        Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

        Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

        In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

        But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

        So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

        Rajesh

        • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

          Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

          Rajesh,

          Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

          Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

          Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

          Rob

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

        Rajesh,

        Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

        Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

        Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

        Rob

    • Rajesh Shah of Blue Planet Network

      Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design. In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied. But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for f...

      Thanks for the clarification and i like how you are trying to push VIDP costs down thru design.

      In principle, the people should be able to maintain a single pit and use something temporary while its full and until emptied.

      But having seen places with multiple-single-pit latrines (often constructed by different agencies)and requests for funding for second latrines, i think the double-pit is the way to go.

      So, can you explain the other VI(S)P proposal? Should we modify that to VIDP too?

      Rajesh

      • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

        Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

        Rajesh,

        Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

        Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

        Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

        Rob

    • Rob Bell of El Porvenir

      Rajesh, Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new. Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of lat...

      Rajesh,

      Staff was against changing the Quisaurita one. I am still not fully clear why, but I suspect that we did some single pits in the same community earlier and the staff want to keep the technology consistent there, whereas here in the cooperativa, it seemed ripe for trying something new.

      Definitely we have seen the "cemetery of latrines" problem here in a few communities, but we hoping that we will be able to avoid in the future.

      Right now we are also looking at another technology as well, similar to others on here of a hydraulic or septic latrine in Wiwilí. It is one area where we have a lot of water to work with and this solution is possible. This is fairly new for Nicaragua though, although we have seen it is fairly common in Honduras these days.

      Rob

  • Rating: 7

    review by (only shown to members)

    latrines are an essential component, along with safe water and proper hygene education, in any sustainable solution. it is of concern that the proposal calls for the replacement of a number of exhausted units and the users have not planned for this on their own. the proposal would be stronger if this was not an issue.

  • Rating: 7

    review by (only shown to members)

    I am not convinced that this modification of the original intent to provide a means of disposal of human feces. The VIP (single) has worked very well in my experience. If the superstructure is built of light weight materials and all elements are easily movable then the latrine can be moved to a new location over a new dig pit after the first is full. Trying to divine the future with a second pit simply tells me that the project is not sustainable using the single pit and ties up funds that could be used for another community. If agencies are funding a second latrine project in a community then this indicates to me that the first project was not sustainable mainly due to prevailing attitude of the community and makes the double concept even more un - sustainable. Keep in mind that the single pit latrine got the US frontier through several hundred years of development. The main emphasis should be on educating people to confine human waste in a proper manner not of increased complexity of the design.

    From the picture I have seen the cabin , floor and pot of the latrine should be easily movable.I our area families do do this when the latrine is full covering the first full pit with soil and depending on the customs of the area use the material in the pit for compost is they wish.

  • Rating: 8

    review by (only shown to members)

    The interesting and extensive exchanges on this project suggest the following:

    1. Building latrines is vexingly expensive, a heavy component of any water delivery system, even of the most ones. And yet I think we all agree that they are mandatory.
    2. The central issue of their longevity vs added cost is not totally resolved, tied up as it is with the ability and willingness of the community to undertake a few years after first use the work involved in changing pit. But we have read some interesting suggestions to which we should be open. This certainly seems the case with El Porvenir which is doing quite a bit of experimentation.
    3. In as much as the issues are not fully resolved and may depend on local conditions is seems sensible to approve various versions until or unless a clear winner emerges.

  • Rating: 5

    review by (only shown to members)

    This has been part of a good discussion and it looks like this project by itself will be successful.

    However, when the 2 latrine projects are put side by side, the community education and learnings seem to be missing.

    The main problem is lack of a model to have communities be able to sustain sanitation. This project itself talks about 12 latrines in bad condition. What happened? How are you avoiding the same problem?

    Putting the 2 latrine projects: single-pit and double-pit in perspective, we need to spend a bit of time taking stock of all our learnings over the years and going forward more decisively.

  • Rating: 6

    review by (only shown to members)

    Though I am not aware about the situation and the technical details about double pit toilet, I feel that instead of having individual toilets for the entire community of 30 households, why not propose for a community toilet. The establishment of a training centre to promote the technology should be the need.

  • Rating: 8

    review by (only shown to members)

    This looks like a good and well-thought out project. I am still slightly unsure how the community meets the $100 annual maintenance fee, but I still think this is a very good project.

Name Status Completion Date Amount Assigned
30 Double Pit Latrines, Cooperativa Ismael Castillo Complete - Successful May 2010 $13,068