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FRESH Tools for Effective School HealthFirst Edition


Ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines are an improved type of pit latrine that help remove odours and prevent flies from breeding. A VIP latrine costs more to build and requires more maintenance than a simple pit latrine, but is still relatively low-cost.

A single VIP latrine costs between US S 70-400.

It is fundamental that schools are provided with appropriate excreta disposal facilities. It is very frustrating to children and teachers to study hygiene behaviour as part of the school curriculum but be unable to use appropriate excreta disposal facilities.

A pit latrine should be at least 30 metres away from any water source.

A VIP consists basically of a pit, a cover slab with a squat hole and a vent pipe cast through the slab. A shelter is built, which must be kept semi-dark, and the vent pipe is raised to at least 0.5 metres above the top of the shelter. A durable fly screen should be placed on the top of the vent pipe. It is important that the latrine is well away from high buildings or trees to avoid shading on the ventilation pipe.

2.4Inspections of School Water and Sanitation Facilities

A sanitary inspection is an on-site inspection of the school facilities to identify actual and potential sources of contamination. The physical structure, the operation of the system and external environmental factors (such as latrine location) are evaluated. This information should be used to select appropriate remedial action to either protect the system or improve it.

Inspections of school water and sanitation facilities should be regularly conducted by a suitably trained person using a simple, clear reporting form. Such forms typically consist of a set of questions structured so that "yes" answers indicate that there is a risk of contamination and "no" answers indicate that the particular risk is absent. The reporting forms can be pictorial to enable them to be easily understood. Such forms and guidelines for the interpretation of results should be established for each different context. The results of such inspections should be communicated to the authorities responsible for sanitary inspections in order to initiate remedial actions, including a more comprehensive survey.

i  Excerpted from WFP/UNESCO/WHO 1999. School Feeding Handbook. Rome, World Food Programme.

ii World Health Organization. Fact Sheets on Environmental Sanitation. Cholera and Other Epidemic Diarrhoeal Diseases Control. Prepared by the Robens Institute University of Surrey, UK. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1996.

iii A family of bacteria which live in the gut of humans and animals and can get into water through faeces. The presence of E. coli in water is an indicator of faecal contamination. People who drink water in which these bacteria are present are at risk of catching diarrhoeal diseases. Under optimal conditions, the E. coli count should be less than 3 per 100 ml in an occasional sample, but not in consecutive samples. When water availability is a problem, as is the case in emergencies, the water is considered acceptable with an E. coli count of less than 10 per 100 ml, mildly polluted with a count of 10-99, and dangerous with a count of over 100.


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