Hilisaloo: Completed

  • Roof scaffold.

Having built the water tank in the village of Hilisaloo–see here–its next big need is toilets. The villagers now simply visit the woods behind their homes. Flies easily travel from “bathroom” areas to eating areas and food, so the lack of proper sanitation is a major health risk. The situation is probably closely related to many of the villager deaths each year. (I don’t have firm records, but there are said to be a lot premature deaths, especially from diarrhea.)

Toilets and a septic system require mostly cement and labor–but a lot of it. Each of 70+ households will also need an outhouse linked to the centralized septic tank. Our estimates come to about $500 per house (including the cost of central septic system). Given transportation costs, our conservative estimates come in at 35-50K in total.

One strategy is to gradually build toilets as funds become available. That raises dicey issues of who goes first and how to decide–especially if we can’t give assurances that everyone will, eventually, get a toilet of their own. Building them all at once is much better as far as those important practicalities go. But then of course we have to have all of the fund on hand, as a lump sum.

Saving up gradually for toilets would involve passing up much less expensive opportunities to distribute rehydration packs and construct water tanks in other villages. So the toilets project seems best for a lump sum donation, for that specific purpose.

The good news is: money is the only obstacle! Damien won’t have trouble ordering the materials and hiring the workers and managers (Damien would himself handle all logistic). In that regard, the project is completely straightforward. He’s been involved in similar projects before (with Spanish Red Cross). Those projects have been and will be our model.

Public Toilets