Latrine in Haiti

Now this was a project. We knew it was a bit ambitious for us to attempt to do so many projects this fall, but we felt (and still feel) impressed to train our guys and girls in all the Justice Water technology this fall. This latrine was a great feat for us, in more ways than one. Though it took way longer than expected and was much more expensive than calculated, we are so grateful for the opportunity we had to partner with our long term friends and staff in Haiti and relationships at the orphanage we have worked with for the past several years.

Our international team was a great asset, too. It can be challenging for them, at times, to find the balance between helping and serving and not going too “all in” and doing the work that we are intending to empower Haitians to do. Many of our staff are new, and they did a great job with it.

The local staff and friends of Justice Water were amazing. We were delighted to have an old friend and Justice Water vet, Jacques, on board with this project, helping us out for a few days. Our friends and Justice Water staff were also there, working hard every day. It took all of us working together to make this latrine happen!

In 2010, the first time we visited this children’s home, we were a part of building the first latrines at the orphanage. To be honest, we had no idea what we were doing and because of that, a few years later, the latrines stunk and were not a pleasant place for these precious children and their caretakers to use the restroom. We have been very excited to be able to partner with the orphanage, and many of the older kids there, to teach them all the proper way to build a latrine that will last.


To start, we went over the latrine building process with some of the people who would be helping and working with us. So thankful for these guys!


The latrine site- far enough away from any kind of water source. This was an important factor to discuss with our local workers, for sure. Having a latrine in close proximity to a water source could be a badddddd deal!


And the digging begins!


The hole after day 1


Rony, our good friend and Montrious Community Director for Justice Water, working on the lid.


Check out that hole! Don’t worry, we hired professionals for every day after this one. We did our best to maintain safety and project integrity here in Haiti.

20140815_185058Ryan and one of the older children at the orphanage after helping to mud the walls of the latrine.




David, the Community Director for Jeremie in Haiti (the southwestern coast), working hard. We love you, David and the amount of care and humility you bring to projects!


Local guys (and professionals) placing the cinder blocks in place and making the baffle wall for the latrine.


Supplies and more supplies!


Ever wondered what the inside of a latrine looked like (without poop?) Here it is! Our latrine is basically a concrete septic tank. The pipe transfers the waste (once it decomposes to liquid) from one chamber to the next. After both chambers are full, the waste makes its way down the leach field- an underground tunnel so to speak. This one goes under the future garden site, to make the soil ready!


Ryan and Willis, a new Justice Water friend. We met him last year and has been a great friend and future Justice Water staff!



More cement! Traveling by moto.


Getting ready to lift the latrine lid. It is always a huge feat!


First lid in place and waiting to lift the second.


All the beautiful children and the finished latrine. We love these children and their caretakers so much. It means so much to us that we were able to partner with them to bring them a sanitary latrine!

What about the walls? you might ask. From the beginning, we always build and fund most of the latrine. Locals are usually expected to give their time, tools (if they have any) and sometimes food (if they have any) for lunchtime. We call this part “buy-in”, as when someone has a buy in they are way more likely to take care of it than if it was just handed to them.

With this latrine, we are partnering with another person who is greatly invested in the orphanage. He is funding the walls and doors for the latrine, and the older boys in the orphanage will be doing it. We are really excited to see the results!

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