07 December 2010

The gift for the folks who have everything...

Water Missions International, Charleston, S.C.

Yes! Buy them an outhouse! I's quirky, original, practical and fun. For a $100 donation to Water Missions International you can have a Sanitary Pit Latrine installed in a country where it is desperately needed.

Sanitary Pit Latrine: The Healthy Latrine is a low-cost yet sturdy, robust, aesthetic and durable type of construction developed by WMI as part of a state wide pilot Project in the Department of Colon, Honduras and used around developing countries to provide access to adequate sanitation facilities to needy families and households in rural and sub-urban settlements lacking any other type of sewage facilities.

This Latrine was developed to improve health and living conditions on children and adults because it is a well-known fact that about three quarters of poor families in developing countries lack these types of facilities. Lack of proper sanitation represents more than half the sources of gastrointestinal diseases caused by waterborne bacteria, viruses and worms.

Water Mission Internationl's primary project is building water purification systems. That is how I met them and got involved, eventually traveling to Kenya to document the installation of a system for a little hospital in Eldoret. When I was touring their facility on Savannah Highway I spotted this outhouse made out of poured concrete in the corner and was enchanted.

I grew up using outhouses and love this solution since it uses a gallon of back flush water from the purification system. Neato!

Seriously. I bought one last year for Christmas and intend to do it again this year. It would be the perfect fun/serious gift to give in people's names. I tried to talk WMI into personalizing them but they still suspect I am nuts. Wouldn't it be great to have a picture of your outhouse with your name on it? I can see a line of Joany Pony Potties. I'd probably go visit them.

Here is the donation link or just give them a call. The latrine is listed in their holiday catalog.

Pony up for a holiday potty!