Pit latrine liners - documented examples

  • eshaylor
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Pit latrine liners - documented examples

Hello sanitation experts of SuSanA,

Im am looking for some documentation and evidence around pit latrine liners, this is specifically for areas will collapsing soils, black cotton soil and for trench latrines.

Oxfam is looking at updating some technical guidance on this, so it would be great to have some examples of different approaches that have been carried out in the field.


Esther Shaylor
WASH Communications and Knowledge Management Adviser
Oxfam GB
Working on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Phase 3 SuSanA project (see here: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
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  • rochelleholm
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Re: Pit latrine liners - documented examples

Hi Ester,
In Malawi for unstable soils (to prevent pit latrine collapse in rural areas) we have developed the corbelled pit latrine design, which is a local innovation for a liner in a way. It is designed for household use. Here are a couple of reports on our work. Please contact me directly if there is anything else I have help with for technical specifications.

Holm, R., Tembo, M., Njera, D., Kasulo, V., Malota, M., Chipeta, W., Singini, W. and Mchenga, J. Adopters and non-adopters of low-cost household latrines: A study of corbelled pit latrines in 15 districts of Malawi. Sustainability, 2016, 8, 917. DOI:10.3390/su8100917 www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/10/917/htm

Chidya, R. C. G., Holm, R. H., Tembo, M., Cole, B., Workneh, P. and Kanyama, J. Testing methods for new pit latrine designs in rural and peri-urban areas of Malawi where conventional testing is difficult to employ. Environmental Science Water Research & Technology, 2016, 2, pages 726–732. DOI: 10.1039/c5ew00246j pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2.../unauth#!divAbstract

Kasulo, V., Holm, R., Tembo, M., Singini, W. and Mchenga, J. Enhancing sustainable sanitation through capacity building and rural sanitation marketing in Malawi. Environment Development and Sustainability, 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-018-0191-2 rdcu.be/VcJZ

Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
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Re: Pit latrine liners - documented examples

Regarding those corbelled pit latrines in Malawi that Rochelle mentioned, there is also a previous thread here where we discussed them a little bit:

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Pit latrine liners - documented examples

Maybe not what you are looking for, but I think this might be a pretty good pit-latrine liner as well: www.crestanks.co.ug/product/permawell/ (It's designed by this Ugandan plastic molding company for hand-dug wells)

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  • glestikow
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Re: Pit latrine liners - documented examples

Hi Esther,

Our iDE Ethiopia team implemented a human-centered design approach to address pit collapse issues. The result is a simple concrete and soil pit liner, as well as a business model for local pit diggers to offer the solution to customers. You can read about the development of the pit liner and some basic technical specs
here .

Some more pictures on constructing the liner are also available here .

Happy to put you in touch with our team if you'd like more technical detail or context. Thanks!
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  • Ashok
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Re: Pit latrine liners - documented examples

Hello Esther,
I am sorry for not having paid much attention to your query earlier on the forum.
I am attaching a photograph of a ferrocement liner, which is flat and therefore easy to manufacture.
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Four or even three of these can be tied together to make a pit, which hopefully would last a life time.
I use it for leach pits.
It costs me in India to make one of such piece Rs 250 only. So a pit with four such planks would be Rs 1000 ($ 16).
the excavation is extra. But the product is a permanent solution with only 1" (25 mm) thickness reducing the excavation considerably as compared to use of bricks. the manufacturing is also very easy and fast. A mason with one helper can make more than fifty pieces per shift of 8 hours. If you want it without holes, so much the better and faster.
But, a major question crops up, that of CONTAMINATION OF SUB SOIL WATER.
I am surprized that no one has raised that issue so far OR AM I BEING PARANOID?

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