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Latrine pit lining in clayey-silt soil


One of the camps with over 100,000 refugees, is located in an area which has the overburden layer mostly composed of clayey-silt. This makes it difficult to dig and maintain latrine pits, as well as very slow soaking of latrine contents. We are looking for couple of options for latrine pit lining (appropriate, sustainable and cost effective in that environment) to manage these latrines in the best possible way. Any suggestions and technical recommendations for this particular location will be highly appreciated.

1 Answer


There are a couple of things that can be done: 1. Change latrine slab specifications. Currently domed slabs are being used, motivated by the need to reduce costs. Over the years the specification of these has crept, so that now the slabs are very bulky and heavy. Using a RC slab would reduce weight and hence the risk of collapse. If the cost of the re-bar is prohibitive (after allowance has been made for the costs involved in replacing collapsed latrines) then a 'SanPlat' slab, supported by timber, could be used. These are very light and require minimum re bar (2x60 cm 6 mm bars), though timber may be a problem (discussed with Tracy Wise, Oxfam Sanitation Engineer seconded to NRC in Dadab in early September) 2. Sandbags have been used successfully in a number of countries to line latrines, if you are interested please let me know and I will some technical specs (also available for SanPlat moulds). 3. If the latrines in the camps are used for both showering and excreta disposal. The provision of separate showering blocks would go a long way to increasing the life span of latrines, especially in a clay soil.