Saturday, February 17, 2007

Some resources (especially for Kate):

My dear friend Kate recently had an excellent question. How does the pit latrine work, exactly? Let me answer that by going through the 3 most frequent questions that I've been asked.

1) How does it work exactly?

Wikipedia's pit latrine entry:

Tearfund's own publications:

And more...with drawings of how to use:

2) Doesn't it...ummm...splatter?

Well, yes, and no. After about a week you develop a certain amount more control over bodily functions that you wouldn't normally think twice about. Aim is an especially key skill to hone. You also develop an ability to squat for an extended period of time. So much so, that, after awhile, you begin to think that squating is actually a very comfortable way to spend your time.

3) How do disabled people use it?

To be perfectly frank, there are far fewer disabled people in Sudan than you would think. I have seen disabled adults but never disabled children. I think that it's almost impossible for them to survive. The amount of resilience I've seen among disabled adults is inspiring. They just make do and I suppose they do this in regard to the latrine as well and, if there's enough money in the family, they can build a seat over the latrine for the person.

Well, I'm glad we had this little chat. Hope that you've learned something new and enlightening here. Feel free to write in with other enquiries anytime and you most likely will not get a response because I won't have access to the internet.


kt said...

you really do have too much time on your hands don't you kelsey. obviously i do also as i checked out the links. i would just like to say that the pictures are slightly misleading. if you squatted and held your legs you'd need very good balance or you'd fall over.

Kristin said...

Could you cover keeping clothing out of the way?