Field Latrine Houses to help Communities affected by TC Ana

Rural and remote communities in Fiji have been adversely affected by natural disasters, with ongoing implications for community health and safety. Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Ana tore through Fiji in January 2021 inflicting damage in the Western and Northern Divisions of Fiji. In addition to significant damage to homes and livelihoods, Fijians were also at risk of contracting a number of waterborne and infectious diseases.

Recognizing this, the Australian Government, through the Fiji Program Support Facility (FPSF), partnered with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) to provide field latrines and latrine houses as part of an effort to reduce the risk of leptospirosis, typhoid, dengue and diarrhea (LTDD) outbreaks in communities devastated by STC Ana.

Pacific Building Solutions (PBS) was pleased to be selected as the design and build contractor to deliver 168 field latrine houses in Flat Pack Kit format. PBS’s design team led by Mr. Edwin Bhorick and Mr. Avinesh Arjun drew up plans for the Latrine Houses which were subsequently approved by FPSF. Immediately following this, construction began at PBS’s Lami workshop, led by its Construction Operations Manager, Romit Dass, who ensured that all relevant building codes and the approved designed were met.

These Latrine Houses were flat packed and came in two sizes – 140 standard size latrines and 28 all- abilities latrine houses. The all-ability latrines were 0.5 meters wider and longer than the standard latrine to cater for people who need mobility aids or assistance. They were also designed in a way that allows them to be moved to new locations when the pit is full and come with a custom designed tie- down mechanism to ensure they remain secure during strong winds and damaging weather conditions. Each latrine house comes with an instruction sheet as well as instructional videos.

Within four weeks all Latrine houses were designed and built after which the Ministry of Health approved mobilization to communities and health centers in the Western divisions of Viti Levu – Sigatoka, Nadi, Ba and Rakiraki and also into the Northern division.

Pacific Building Solutions is very grateful to have worked on this community project for the Australian Government through the FPSF and the MOHMS. It is the company’s hope that through this provision and care-project, some comfort, safety and hygiene will be brought back to the villages and communities around Fiji who have suffered through the devastating effects of STC Ana and that this will contribute to the resilience of these communities long into the future.

Source: PBS, Fiji Times 29 Jun, 2021

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