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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rid your latrine of bad smell and pests

This information was brought to us by our dear friend: 
Lori SalleyShow Mercy International -Co-Founder

Individuals in the suburbs tend to associate pit latrines with poor hygiene, bad smell and diseases thus avoiding them. However, the significance of pit latrines in the Ugandan society can’t be denied and luckily, there are several methods you can employ to ensure a more welcome and pleasant smelling pit latrine.
Rachel Kibwika, a housewife living in Gayaza advises people to get ash accumulated from their charcoal burners and throw it in the pit. “It wards off blue bottle flies and other sorts of insects such as cockroaches,” she says, adding that this will also help rid your latrines of the bad smell that is often linked with pit latrines.
Another method of deflecting the terrible stench in pit latrines is by the use of engine oil. Amina Mulumba of Kawempe says that the engine oil also reduces on the number of disease causing insects such as flies and cockroaches without her having to pour it in the pit very often; only whenever she has old engine oil that she needs to dispense of.
Andrew Mtupanyama, who lives in Malawi prescribes the growing of plants with good aromas in close proximity to the pit latrine, for example the Night Queen Shrub or the Eucalyptus plant or even tomatoes which are said to absorb the bad smell from the pit latrines. This not only brightens up the area with some vivacious colour but helps in warding off the bad smell around the latrine.
Using Black Dippex (also known as Jeyes fluid), moderates the bad smell in pit latrines though it has a strong odour that may not be pleasant itself or even cause allergic reactions to its users.
Burning of pine leaves or banana leaves while suspended in the latrine pit improves the smell in the latrine and also lowers the number of flies, cockroaches and other unpleasant creatures likely to originate from the latrine within the vicinity.
One can improve the ventilation through the addition of a chimney so that odours rise through it and disperse. Chimneys also reduce the number of pests, which reduces the possibility of individuals getting diseases such as cholera that are transmitted by flies originating from pit latrines.
Pit latrines may be overlooked but their value cannot be underscored since they help numerous households reduce on the water bills and can also be used in times of water shortages, a period when flushing toilets may become impractical.
Fortunately, with the above tips bad smell and pests in and around your latrine could be a thing of the past.

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1 comment:

    Here are a few things I know about pit latrines.
    If you dump a lot of water down a pit latrine, the bacteria that develop to digest the waste are anaerobic bacteria--meaning that they don't need oxygen to live since they are always covered in water. These kind stink.

    If the soil is porous or you manage to put very little water down the hole, aerobic bacteria do the work of composting the waste. Aerobic bacteria don't stink.

    If you are able to dig the hole deep enough--I forget the exact depth--15 or 20 feet I think--flies aren't able to reproduce that far below ground level.

    There are nice designs out there in the NGO/eco-friendly information lore for building latrines that are well vented. If you then screen the top of the vent pipe and make a removable cover for the main hole and keep the cover in place when not in use, this also prevents insects from reproducing in the waste.