Silvia Describes Her Healthy Household
Silvia Coc lives in a settlement on the outskirts of El Estor that is largely inhabited by families whose lands have been taken from them due to the mining activities in the area. She lives with her husband and two children and her family was selected to be benefitted from a flush latrine and biosand water filter. She received these benefits in early 2021 and comments that since receiving them her family has recognized the important advantages they provide. First, Silvia states that when her family had sufficient money to buy bottled water they did so, but most frequently drank water straight from the faucet. She comments that her children often complained of stomach problems and diarrhea. Since however having a filter installed and using it to purify the water from the faucet, they no longer have the expense of buying water or drinking impure water.
She continues stating that prior to receiving her flush latrine, her family used a traditional hole-in-the-ground outhouse. It was a breeding ground for mosquitos and flies and emitted a foul odor. Now, with the flush latrine, the presence of flying pests has been greatly reduced and there is no longer a foul smell. Silvia explains that she and her family are grateful to have benefitted from the filter and latrine, and hopes that more families can receive the same projects.
Technical note: Contrary to popular belief the major risk of using a traditional outhouse is not ground contamination, but rather that they provide an environment ideal for the propagation of flies and mosquitos. Their presence and breeding in human waste later contaminate food and water with bacteria and germs carried by them in the immediate area. The flush latrines are designed to use water from a faucet or bucket that is poured into the latrine after each use, and the latrine has a trap valve so that flying insects do not have access to the waste that is then dissolved into the earth.