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Investigating the Effectiveness of Earthen Barriers to Mitigate the Leaching of Pathogens from Pit Latrines in Coastal Bangladesh

Publish Date: March 2018
Author: MCSP

Improved sanitation is the primary barrier to prevent fecal contamination from entering the environment. Pit latrines are one of the most commonly used human excreta disposal systems in low-income countries due to their low cost and availability. Pit latrines are the most common latrine technology in rural Bangladesh and are often installed in such a way that untreated effluent can directly contaminate surrounding aquifers.

The study team conducted a double-arm randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a 50 cm sand barrier around and below pit latrines to treat effluent and prevent pathogens from reaching the surrounding groundwater. The study took place in Galachipa Upazila (subdistrict) of Patuakhali district of Bangladesh.