In the sandy soil of coastal villages in Bougainville, standard pit latrines proved to be unworkable – the sides of the pit would just cave in. With Oxfam’s support, local water technician John Narivau and the residents of Sirovai village perfected an ingenious solution. As a result, they are in the process of building a toilet for each family and significantly reducing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as diarrhoea.
|The first step is to nail together a circular wooden frame.|
|Binding the frame with wire secures it.|
|It makes the latrine's structure more rigid in the sandy conditions.|
|Chicken wire is fixed all the way round the latrine to add strength and give cement something to stick to.|
|The frame is now plastered with three layers of cement. After drying, the wooden frame can be removed and used again to make more concrete pit liners.|
|Technician John Narivau with village chief Daniel Kalang and men from Sirovai village. Everyone is keen to be involved in the construction: it's their village, and their future health that is being safeguarded.|
|To get the concrete pit liner into the ground, someone simply climbs inside and digs the soil out. The concrete cylinder slowly moves down.|
|After a few hours of digging, the concrete cylinder is stable in the sandy soil. All that remains is to put a concrete pad on it and build a bush material hut over the whole thing. Here, Jim Siseta's latrine will be vital in securing his family against disease.|
Water for survival: Bougainville
Watch the video to see how Oxfam is helping bring sanitation, water and hygiene to Papua New Guinea.