The need for toilets in rural Zimbabwe is tremendous. The government provides plans for an approved type of toilet that can be built according to the Ministry of Health. It is called a VIP, or improved Blair pit-style toilet and resembles those found in US campgrounds. Composting toilets although in experimentation have not been approved by our local Ministry of Health, which is who approves all toilet building activities. Normally one side of the toilet is for females and one side for males. The toilets that Ancient Ways sponsors does not normally provide a bathing room but one could also be built as an extension to this type of building.
Historical Context of our Building of Toilets
The family provides the digging of the toilet and Ancient Ways provides all materials and builders. We have built 4 toilets for families and 9 toilets for the children who attend the Matarutse primary school. We have also built a toilet in Dewedzo and in the Tendai Village, as well as all of the ones for the Nhimbe preschool and Community Center.
Our 2010 survey indicated that 121 families in Nhimbe for Progress and Jangano have lost their toilet due to collapse from inclement weather. The survey also tells us that 7 people out of 100 have a good toilet and the other 93 people have dug a hole or use ‘the bush’.
Obviously the lack of toilets is a critical component in the health of the families as many diseases are passed. Not only does the risk of infection increase with fecal matter on ground level but also the rainwater washes contaminants into uncovered wells.