Haiti: The Toilets Project, 2013-2014

The project consumed most of 2013 in the fundraising and construction.   The problem with the older toilets came to the notice of the Haiti Team after their mission trips in 2011-2012 where they visited the school.

The original latrine building consisted of two latrine stalls and two shower stalls and was not functioning. The structure seems to be solid, but the latrine is not working well due to the high water table in the downtown Port-au-Prince area. Thus this latrine has not been in use. The toilet was located on the south west corner of the Notre Dame church and school site. It is a very small area that is bordered by the classroom walls, thus the smell from the toilets have not been to pleasant for the adjacent classrooms

Generally toilets are calculated at 50 students per stall, thus this school would require 6 stalls, three for  the girls and one stall plus a trough urinal for the boys. It has also been requested that there is a lockable staff stall and also a small shower stall for the staff. A cistern will be placed on top of the toilet building to provide gravity fed water to the toilets and hand basins.


The project arose as a suggestion from Joe  Junod, a representative from Christ Church Spotsylvania who was meeting at St. George’s as part of the Haiti group in January, 2013.   He proposed that it be a Region One project and  that we ask each church to take a share of the 32,000 at about 1,032.00 per church.  He proposed that the campaign be time limited to three weeks and that St. George’s be the money collection.

The Rev. Marion Windel of the Church of the Incarnation played a major role at Region One in pushing that forward.  Church of the Incarnation sold Haitian coffee at the Diocesan Council. Christ Church just sold crafts and St. George’s had a youth led fundraiser selling hotdogs at the Christmas parade

There were delays in the fundraising and the building plans. Fundraising took longer with the Region One churches as the original donation was difficult for all the churches to handle.

Region One raised $21,374 for the toilets which included $2,000 from Region One.  The original projected amount required $21,600 which included the contract and design and construction management

The contract was made September 2013 between the Notre Dame School and FBC Construction.  The original hope was that the new toilets would be ready for the school year beginning in October, 2013. That was not possible. The project was finished in Feb., 2014

MSAADA Architects provided supervision support. They are a unique company. Based on Minnesota, they use architecture as a form of outreach. Since 1980, MSAADA has served on well over 1,000 projects in a total of 40 countries worldwide.

They also recommended hiring a local construction company rather than local bosses in that it will expedite the project progress and there is then security of the funds to have the project completed within the cost provided by the contractor.

An early drawing proposed a  guardhouse on top of the toilet building. This was separated from the project.

MSAADA described the issues with the project that arose
•”The contractor was on vacation that ended up being longer duration than expected due to some medical attention in November which should not have been an issue as this project should have been completed in October!
•”The onsite engineer has been replaced with another who has served to assist with speeding up the production on the site dramatically as of two weeks ago.
•”The location of the project has proved to be quite difficult in terms of hiring labor. Many who are hired are unskilled but are required to be hired otherwise the ones with skill are hindered from entering the area. This is a standard issue MSAADA has observed in Haiti but it has been quite vivid in this area where there are many people in a close knit neighborhood with few jobs. Thus the work and material deliver has been slow but the quality has not been sacrificed!
•”There have been some run-ins with individuals who are looking for their “cut” but this issues has mostly been diminished when they being to understand that these things are not tolerated on projects and the money is tightly controlled.”

By early Nov., 2013, the  foundations and walls are completed. It seems that material delivery has been quite challenging to complete the remaining structural components of the roof.

The following are construction pictures:



The project was completed in February, 2014. Photographs from the Haiti Team in the summer of 2014 follow: