Safe sanitation practices are vital to the general health of island communities, but since the earthquake in 2010, the incidence of Cholera in Haiti has added a fatal dimension to their particular situation.
There has been a renewed interest in providing sanitation for areas that lack the basic infrastructure.
Composting toilets, a type of 'out house' set up, have become a vital part of the solution. The principle behind them is that if you separate the urine from the feces, the feces will much more quickly dry and be decomposed by natural bacteria making it benign of any disease and a perfect material for agricultural fertilizer. The urine is primarily 'clean' so can be diverted to a simple pit where it will seep into the soil.
There are several organizations doing an incredible job providing large scale numbers of composting toilets as well as 'out houses' which are made over deep enough holding spaces to provide an opportunity for composting microbes to break down the feces.
While in Haiti, Donna Lange used simple supplies to create a composting toilet system. The material cost about 15$ per toilet. But with better skills, even simpler systems can be made, individual systems can be incorporated into homes. The challenge introducing a
composting system in these areas is
that feces is considered 'evil' to many
in a way that only masked, often
shunned locals will deal with it. So
introducing a system that requires
someone in a home to actually airate
it by using a fork or adding leaves is
difficult. Guidelines for working in an
island community is necessary.
Slide show below of Donna working
with Jean Phelix and Jean Livingston
and the community in Kakok in Ile a
Vache to make a compost toilet.