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TitleThe Balti-latrine : a socio-technical study of traditional sanitation systems in Baltistan
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsLangendijk, MAM, van de Korput, JA
Secondary TitleIssue paper / Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health Studies Project (Pakistan)
Volumeno. 5
Paginationiii, 40 p. : 6 drwg., 7 fig., 1 map, 4 photogr., 5 tab.
Date Published1995-01-01
PublisherAga Khan Health Service
Place PublishedGilgit, Pakistan
Keywordsevaluation, excreta use, health hazards, pakistan azad jammu and kashmir baltistan region, pit latrines, recommendations, use of facilities, water, sanitation, hygiene and health studies project (pakistan)

The document describes construction and use of the Balti-latrine in two districts of Northern Areas in Pakistan where latrine coverage is 98 per cent. People's main reason for having a latrine is the manure it produces. The manure, often mixed with cleansing material, soil, or cow dung is used as fertilizer on fields with staple crops and vegetable gardens. It was found that the choice of cleansing material was related to the soil condition. Research also included an assessment of user-satisfaction levels. Most people mentioned smell as a major problem which they solve by covering the latrine contents with soil or animal dung. Improvements mentioned are all related to construction to achieve more convenience and privacy. Changes in use and maintenance of the latrines were not mentioned. Health risk related to use of the latrine and its manure is discussed. Use of water for anal cleansing, the water flowing into the pit is considered a negative practice as the high moisture contents decreases the level of decomposition and destruction of pathogens. Given the high latrine coverage recommendations for the programme focus on improvement of existing facilities, latrine use management, and awareness raising to achieve construction of a separate ablution place, construction of roofs and (higher) walls, a door for the emptying hole, reduction of the moisture content, adding organic matter, covering the contents of the latrine, hand washing after contact with manure and less use of fresh manure on vegetable gardens. A pilot programme with modified traditional latrines is currently carried out.

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