This information makes part of the BRACED Projects in Jamaica

As part of building resilience in communities against emerging disasters, Habitat for Humanity Jamaica (Jam-Habitat) embarked on a sanitation and hygiene campaign, “Dignity through Sanitation.”

Primary data unearthed from our SUYO GIS mapping revealed that a number of residents were without adequate sanitation solution or had none at all. Consequently, they resorted to alternative fecal disposal methods: “parachuting” and open defecation.
Using Participatory Hygiene And Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) methodology, Jam-Habitat explored with the three communities:
1. Routes of contamination.
2. Best sanitation solution
3. Nutrition cycle.
All three communities, through picture stories, discovered that the best suitable sanitation solution was the Ventilated Improved Double Pit (VIDP) toilet.
The VIDP is a dry toilet technology, which utilises the sun’s heat for both drying of the vault that contains the feces and the removal of odour. The VIDP does not require water and therefore remains functional in times of water lock off or periods of drought.
This option is best suited for settlements where there’s no centralised sanitation system; where there is little to no water supply; for low income households; and areas where there is high water table.


We have trained, through partnership with HEART, 63 community members in carpentry, masonry and plumbing and employed those we trained to conduct our construction of garbage receptacles, retrofit of houses and building of Ventilated Improved Double Pit (VIDP) dry toilets.

 

Dignity through VIDP sanitation solution

As Jam-Habitat continues to build resilience and capacities against emerging disasters, it continues to focus on the critical issue of sanitation. SUYO, participatory enumeration process, discovered that there are many households without adequate sanitation.

Given that most of the households are female-headed, women and girls are often affected the most. Although many were without toilet they were reluctant to accept the toilets Jam-Habitat was offering. Others aspired to have a flush toilet and were not warm to the idea of a dry toilet. At the heart of the reluctance and suspicion around the Ventilated Improved Double Pit (VIDP) was the issue of dignity. The VIDP was associated with the traditional pit latrine, which draws social stigma.

It was important to Jam-Habitat to provide a sanitation solution that was:

1. Suited to the high-water tables in the project areas, making them environmentally sound.

2. Appropriate for the small land space

3. Suited where there is no centralised sewage system

4. Least expensive of sanitation options

5. Able to uphold the dignity of beneficiaries

After months of brainstorming, participatory hygiene & sanitation transformation training with beneficiaries and consultation with community builders, Jam-Habitat came up with a design that was acceptable, meet the standards of sanitation and uphold the dignity of the beneficiaries. The risers (toilet bowl), was designed and made from local materials by Mr. Myers, JamHabitat’s local lead builder. Mr. Myers will be  training other community builders to build the risers (toilet bowls) to enable continuity and sustainable of the units in the  communities

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