Bathroom Issues

August 29, 2009

When you don’t have running water, you also don’t have toilets. What do people without toilets do when they have to go to the bathroom?

Some people find a spot in behind their coffee or fruit trees.

Fruit trees

What impact do you think this would have on the environment? On the groundwater that supplies people’s wells with drinking water? Can you think of a better alternative?

Within the past many years, there have been many community development projects with the main focus of building latrines or outhouses for people who live in areas where a toilet is not an option. Outhouses can help protect the drinking water by keeping the bacteria in human waste from washing into a stream or leaching into the groundwater supply.

In the rural community where I lived, toilets are not an option because they use far more water than any family could afford to waste. Instead, families build outhouses.

A girl showing her family's new outhouse.

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3 Responses to “Bathroom Issues”

  1. Kristi said

    You were right. 1st picture is AWESOME. That’s the face Koryn made the first time I took her camping. She was like… you want me to poop where? hahaha

    • sgscnicaragua said

      Yep, the picture says it all! Latrines ARE important.

      The girl in the picture has a latrine at her house–as a whole, her family tries to be pretty conscious of water issues, especially when it comes to keeping the drinking water clean. Sometimes, however, even the best intentions are limited by available resources. For example, come coffee harvest time, the family washes all of the coffee berries in the stream, to remove the red pulp from the coffee beans. This is the traditional practice, as most people do not have enough resources to pay for enough tap water (or, they do not even have tap water!) to be able to wash thousands of pounds of coffee. In areas were people grow and harvest a ton of coffee, however, this traditional practice ends up putting too much organic material (coffee berry pulp) into the streams and causes some pollution.

  2. liliana said

    i would not mind going to the bathroom in the outhouse but doing it all the time i dont know about that.

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