Home · Blog · Gone Rural boMake : Sanitation Technology: Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) Latrines

In Voss Foundation’s 2012 Women Helping Women clean water project in Swaziland, we are working with Gone Rural boMake, Rosecraft, and Nest to build five wells and thirty latrines for 6300 people in two communities. Water, sanitation and hygiene go hand in hand — clean water is best maintained through proper sanitation techniques. Keeping human waste away from a clean water supply is vital to preventing diseases like cholera. Additionally, the provision of clean water allows for handwashing and other hygiene practices that save lives. At Voss Foundation, we believe in using clean water as an engine for growth. Therefore, we include sanitation and hygiene whenever we can, working closely with our implementing partners to determine the best methods for each beneficiary community.

The preferred sanitation technology in Swaziland is the Ventilated Improved Pit Latrine (VIP). It comprises a stable foundation and flooring, a dark and sealed pit, and a ventilated pipe extending at least half a meter above the roof of the latrine, fitted with a fly screen. Air is drawn out by convection, which also draws out the smell from the latrine. The fly screen traps flies from breeding in the pit. The pit is kept dark, causing insects entering the pit to be attracted to 
the light at the top of the vent pipe, and thereby trapped by the 
fly screen. The pit may be lined (recommended) or unlined where soil conditions allow. The VIP latrine offers all the health benefits offered by the full water borne system, at a lower cost.

Why use VIP latrines:

  • Low cost and simple alternative to the traditional pit latrines
  • Culturally accepted by most Swazi communities
  • Offer all the health benefits of the full water borne system at a lower cost

How they work:

  • Waste drops into the pit where it decomposes and liquids percolate into the surrounding and bottom soil
  • Continuous airflow through the top structure and the above vent removes smells; vent pipe removes smell and vents gases to the atmosphere
  • The fly screen acts as a flytrap for insects entering the pit, attracting them towards the light at the top of the vent pipe
  • A separate hand washing facility is required

To learn more about the technology of Voss Foundation water projects, you may be interested to read about The Technology of a Handpump and The Technology of a Rope and Washer Pump.

Voss Foundation © 2014