Construction of Latrines

In the rural areas of the Dominican Republic, families who do not have an indoor bathroom, have the option of installing a latrine.  This sanitary service is easy to build and maintain.

Sanitary conditions in the countryside are precarious.  Many families lack latrines or have one in poor condition.  This is due to restrictions on the use of wood and the very low economic status of these families.

This situation causes grave environmental health problems.  These issues include water contamination, because the water used comes from rivers and streams and is consumed without being treated.  Parasitic diseases are another serious problem, because defecation occurs near family dwellings.

Latrines, which are not maintained properly, fill up with water.  Stagnant water hatches mosquitoes.  Moreover, latrines have no lids and eventually crumble because of poor soil conditions.  Many latrines lack roofs.  Eventually, all is left is a hole in the ground with two sticks and this hole harbors flies, roaches, rats, mosquitoes and other disease carriers.

To combat these problems and to improve health conditions among peasant families, ILAC has been conducting a program of latrine construction in rural communities.  More than two thousand families have participated in and benefited from this program.

The participation of the farmer, his family and the entire vicinity is very valuable.  After the project is completed, farmers are taught the proper use and maintenance of their new latrines.