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A Practical Guide for Building a Simple Pit Latrine: How to Build Your Latrine and Use It Hygienically, for the Dignity, Health, and Well Being of Your Family

The Global Water Initiative (GWI)
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Tools & Manuals
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This latrine manual has been designed for the use as a technical guide at the individual household level to assist those families who have already decided to build their own latrine. This step-by-step guide to basic latrine construction is a vital follow-on from activities that 'trigger' sanitation awareness in the village and mobilize individual households to improve sanitation in their own home and village. Such 'triggering' activities may include Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Participatory Hygiene And Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) or other participatory approaches. 

The dialogue in this guide should be acted out by a facilitation team in the form of a skit and followed by a debate. At the end of each key step (siting the latrine, digging the pit, making the slab, building the superstructure) the skit should be paused to allow debate with the public and respond to questions and comments on that particular step. This is necessary to clarify any technical questions the community may have. The skit can be acted out in the yard of a family planning to construct a latrine. This allows the skit to be played out in an environment that the 'audience' will recognize as their own.

This booklet is then given to those families present at the skit/dialogue who have already taken the firm decision to build their own latrine. A strong, appropriate, and low-cost, well-sited latrine guarantees use safety, minimizes smell and flies, and offers a convenient place for privacy and hygiene needs of all family members. The quality of construction of such a household latrine is the best way to satisfy the users and ensure a definitive end to open defecation!