School Latrines

One of the cutest things I saw in Burkina Faso was the prevalance of latrines. In the countryside, there is no sewage system whatsoever, and it seems few if any people are particularly bothered by any desire for running water or waste disposal. In fact, I read that the population density is so low in some areas, that “open defecation” is the norm, and no one is particularly concerned about the health risk since it’s all so spread out and hot and dry.

But as the population grows, and as development arrives even to the remotest of locations, open defecation definitely is going to have its limits.

So now, all the newer and nicer buildings in the countryside have latrines. No indoor plumbing needed – just build a concrete outhouse over a huge dry pit. It’s safe, sanitary and easy. And while it might not be as nice as my pretty flush toilet, it’s a lot easier to keep clean, doesn’t require a huge flow of water, and is cheap to build.

I loved it, too, because if I was feeling a bit of… urgency… on the highway, we’d just find a local school and I could slip into the latrines, do my business, and pull away.

In the pictures below, I stood in between a school and its latrines. I turned one way and took a picture of the school building, then I turned around and took a picture of the latrines.



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