MLABANI SCHOOL LATRINE CONSTRUCTION
Prepared by Benedict Mgubike

Before construction of the septic tank began, the 3m deep pit which was excavated was backfilled with sand. This will help to reduce earth pressure acting on the tank as a result of expansion and contraction of the clay soils present at the site.
Fig 1: Finished excavated pit. Water from underground had started to flow into the tank. This indicates a very high water table.


Fig 2: The pit being filled with sand.

Fig 3: Sand being compacted layer after layer. The final depth of the pit is at 1.0m from the ground surface.

After the backfilling process was complete, the next step was to begin construction of the septic tank.
  Fig 4: A 150mm thick concrete base was poured in to serve as the floor of septic tank. It comprises of 12mm reinforcement framework set at 15 cm spacing. This is day 1 of curing. Sand is being poured in to cover the slab followed by jute bags. This is to slow down the rate of drying as the temperatures are too high during the day.This will be wetted for a period of 7 days before construction of the septic tank walls continues.

 Fig 5: Picture showing the Foundation of the latrine block and slab curing process. This is day 1 of curing.

Fig 6:construction continues at the septic tank on day 8. Damping proof course (DPC) seen as the white paper is laid between the slab and the first course of bricks. This is so as to prevent entry of water into the brick coursework from either  the inside or outside of the tank.


Fig 7: In order to ensure structural integrity of the septic tank walls in the problematic soils found in  this area, the walls are 300mm thick instead of the normal 150mm. This is achieved by using 2 bricks instead of 1 to form the double wall. 3mm wire snakes its way through the brick course work from the concrete base slab, effectively tying in the tank floor to the walls.

Going hand in hand with the construction activities, a sanitation and hygiene club was also started at the school. It comprises of 5 boys and 5 girls and one mentoring teacher. The students are drawn from form 1 to form 3.The aim is to ensure the student body are empowered and motivated to maintain the sanitation facilities in their school. They were also mandated to ensure good hygiene behavior such as handwashing with soap after latrine use is kept up at the school. 

                     
Fig 8: The members of the club  being introduced to the rest of the student body and  trying out their new MSABI t-shirts. These students will recieve training during the course of the school latrine construction.