Modern Toilets to Raise Quality of Life for Haitians

The Haitian government has decided to abandon subsidization of toilet construction, in favor of more cost-effective and sustainable toilets that can be built by homeowners themselves. The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) has been directing research into social and cultural use of toilets; however they are defined within Haitian culture.


Before toilet projects can begin, an understanding of how Haitian households view urination and defecation activities must occur. In the countryside, defecating in a field is an acceptable practice. Residents in these areas hate pit latrines because they smell and despoil the land. Educating them to change their habits will not happen overnight.

People in urban areas, aware of the dangers of improper sanitation practices and conditions--such as cholera--commonly install toilets in their homes. It brings with it an increased social standing, which means 'you are ready to receive guests'.

Other considerations, affecting toilet design, are what define an acceptable toilet. Will the community decide to build a sit-down, squat, water-sealing, composting, flush or long-drop toilet? To address the issue around toilet design, the IFRC has been working on an assessment mechanism for communities with antiquated ideas about bodily functions.

In order to impress upon poorer folks the health benefits of using a modern toilet, the entire community must be engaged in building and using their own toilets. The convenience and cleanliness of using a modern toilet will change behaviors and attitudes and improve the quality of life.

Reply to this article

Read more: Cholera, Toilet, defecation, Home and family

« Haitian government wants to fight internet calls, MagicJack, Skype | Main | The Establishment of ECCO2 Haiti Civil Society Organization »

Return to Articles List

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

E-mail (required, will not be published)

Subject: Modern Toilets to Raise Quality of Life for Haitians edit

» »

Our objective is to share with you news and information about Haiti and the people of Haiti. Traditions, habits and the way we were  or  grew are alive in this site. We highly recommend that you Subscribe to our Newsletter and also share with us some of the things that are memorable and made us unique people.