How will the intervention help?

Latrines and their use help reduce contamination of drinking water with urine and stool. They also reduce the transmission of intestinal parasites, such as worms. In communities where latrines are not used, inhabitants often defecate around their homes. Rains wash the stool into the drinking water. People can also step in the stool at a later date and have worms, such as hookworm penetrate their skin and start a new infection. Reduced exposure to urine and stool can reduce the risk of diarrhea and intestinal parasites. Children are particularly hurt by these infections and can die from them.

What is involved with the project?

Note: There are many different latrine designs and even within a specific design, how they are built will vary based on the local soil conditions and availability of local materials. We use a modified Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine design.

  • A hole in the ground that is approximately 1 meter x 2 meters by 3 meters deep is dug in the ground. The deeper the hole, the longer the latrine lasts before it fills up and can no longer be used. Digging the hole is the hardest part of the project.
  • For our locale, a collar around the hole is created using local rocks and concrete. This stabilizes the lip of the hole to avoid cave-ins. In areas where the soil caves in easily, it may be necessary to use cement block or rock and concrete to line the entire hole.
  • A form to create the floor is made out of wood planks and is built to cover the top of the hole and to create the side walls for when the concrete is poured. Iron bar (ree-bar) is cut and tied together to make a grid of metal that reinforces the concrete.
  • A 4” diameter PVC pipe is placed near the back of the latrine and gets concreted into the slab that forms the floor.
  • A mold is used to create the hole where excrement will enter the latrine.
  • Concrete is then poured to form the slab (latrine floor).
  • After the concrete floor is hardened, a structure is built on top of the floor (like a small shack), mainly for privacy concerns.

Required Materials

  • Wood planks for forms
  • Sand, gravel, cement, water, rocks
  • ree-bar and tie wire
  • PCV pipe – 10 ft x 4 inch
  • Mold for excrement access hole
  • Privacy structure – can be made out of almost anything.

Total monetary cost

  • Price varies based on a number of factors, but can often build this version for under $200


Photo Gallery

This man is nearing completion of his latrine hole.  Digging a hole for a latrine can take days of work.


A stone and concrete collar is being built.  This reduces the chance of cave-ins.  In other locations where the soil is not so hard, the latrine hole must be lined with stone-concrete or concrete block to avoid cave-ins.


Concrete is be added onto the wood form containing the ree-bar mesh.  All of this sits on the collar around the hole.


The concrete slab is ready to be covered with plastic and allowed to cure for 30 days.  After that, walls and a roof will be build for privacy.