Single Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP)

Compiled by:
Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology)
Adapted from:
TILLEY, E.; ULRICH, L.; LUETHI, C.; REYMOND, P.; ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014)

Executive Summary

The single VIP is a ventilated improved pit. It is an improvement over the single pit because continuous airflow through the ventilation pipe vents odours and acts as a trap for flies as they escape towards the light. Yet, the single VIP remains among the simplest and cheapest toilet systems. Thus, the danger of groundwater contamination due to soil infiltration persists, especially in densely populated areas.

In Out

Urine, Faeces, Excreta, Blackwater, Anal Cleansing Water, Dry Cleansing Material

Sludge

Introduction

The design of a VIP is nearly the same as a normal pit latrine – made of a superstructure, a pit cover slab and a hole for defecation – and can be used both for single and double pits. Different is only the ventilation pipe, provided with a durable fly screen on the top (SANIMAS 2005). Despite their simplicity, well-designed single VIPs can be completely smell free, and more pleasant to use than some other water-based technologies.

Flies that hatch in the pit are attracted to the light at the top of the ventilation pipe. When they fly towards the light and try to escape, they are trapped by the fly-screen and die. The toilet superstructure must be kept sufficiently dark, so that the flies leave the pit through the pipe and not through the squat hole into the toilet. The ventilation also allows odours to escape and minimizes the attraction for flies. A small gap above the door or a louvre in the door allows the air to enter. The flow of air is increased if the doorway of the superstructure faces the prevailing wind (WHO 1992). 

The VIP needs no water for its function. This is a big advantage in water scarce areas in comparison with flush toilets (see flush toilets, pour flush toilets or low-flush toilets. However, compared to toilet systems such as UDDTs, composting toilets, twin-pits for pour flush, terra preta toilets, arborloo or fossa alterna), the treatment processes are limited (EAWAG/SANDEC 2008).

Design Considerations

The vent pipe should have an internal diameter of at least 110 mm and reach more than 300 mm above the highest point of the toilet superstructure. It can be made out of PVC, bricks, pet bottles or iron pipes. Wind passing over the top creates a suction pressure within the vent pipe and induces an air circulation. Air is drawn through the user interface into the pit, moves up inside the vent pipe and escapes into the atmosphere. Care should be taken that objects, such as trees or houses, do not interfere with the air stream. The vent works best in windy areas, but where there is little wind, its effectiveness can be improved by painting the pipe black. The heat difference between the pit (cool) and the vent (warm) creates an updraft that pulls the air and odours up and out of the pit. To test the efficacy of the ventilation, a lit cigarette can be held over the user interface; the smoke should be pulled down into the pit and up into the vent and not remain in the superstructure.

The mesh size of the fly screen must be large enough to prevent clogging with dust and allow air to circulate freely. Aluminium screens, with a hole-size of 1.2 to 1.5 mm, have proven to be the most effective. Typically, the pit is at least 3 m deep and 1 to 1.5 m in diameter, depending on the number of users. Deep pits can last up to 20 or more years. The longer a pit lasts, the lower will be the average annual economic cost and the greater the social benefits from the original input (WHO 1992).

 Pit latrine polluting groundwater 

Infiltration of pit latrine leachate can lead to serious pollution of groundwater and drinking water resources. Source: GTZ.

As liquid leaches from the pit and migrates through the unsaturated soil matrix, pathogenic germs are sorbed to the soil surface. In this way, pathogens can be removed prior to contact with groundwater. The degree of removal varies with soil type, distance travelled, moisture and other environmental factors and, thus, it is difficult to estimate the distance necessary between a pit and a water source. A minimum horizontal distance of 30 m between a pit and a water source and 2 m between the bottom of the pit and the groundwater table is normally recommended to limit exposure to microbial contamination. In densely populated areas with many pit latrines it is often not possible to keep these distances between pollution sources and water abstraction points due to very limited space. In these areas, the risk of groundwater contamination remains extremely high, representing important health risks for the communities.

Raised double VIP in a slum area of Kampala, Uganda

Raised double VIP in a slum area of Kampala, Uganda. Source: LUETHI et al. (2013)

When it is not possible to dig a deep pit or the groundwater level is too high, a raised pit can be a viable alternative: the shallow pit can be extended by building the pit upwards with the use of concrete rings or blocks. A raised pit can also be constructed in an area where flooding is frequent in order to keep water from flowing into the pit during heavy rain. Urine diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) could also be a suitable option for regions with high groundwater table, as they are generally built above ground. In regions which tend to get flooded, “hanging UDDTs” are recommended.

A single VIP toilet can be upgraded to a double VIP. A double VIP has an extra pit so that while one is in use, the contents of the full pit are allowed to drain, mature and degrade. Once they are matured, it can be composted and can then be reused in agriculture (see also use of compost).

If a urine-diverting user interface (see urine diversion slab) is used, only faeces are collected in the pit and leaching can be minimized. The separately collected urine can be stored and reused it in agriculture. Once the faecal sludge is composted, it may also be reused in agriculture.             TILLEY et al. 2014

Schematic of a single ventilated improved pit. Source: TILLEY et al. (2014)            

Health Aspects/Acceptance

A single VIP can be a very clean, comfortable, and well accepted sanitation option. However, some health concerns exist:

The emptying (see human powered and motorised) of pit latrines containing fresh excreta presents problems because of the active pathogens in the sludge. Manual removal should therefore be avoided (WHO 1992).

Costs Considerations

VIPs are slightly more expensive than normal pit latrines. The construction needs some extra material (e.g. the vent pipe) and it should be noted that a ventilated design needs a roofed and darkened superstructure. Furthermore, costs for emptying the pits (see human powered and motorised) need to be considered. It should not be a problem, however, to build de VIP with local material (WHO 1992).

Operation & Maintenance

SuSanA on FLICKR Emptying a Pit

A toilet emptier passes the bucket full of faecal sludge to his assistant. The man works without gloves, boots and mask, because these are too expensive. The health risk in this case is extremely high (left). Emptying a pit with a vacuum tanker is much easier but only possible if the sludge is enough liquid and equipment is available (right). The consistency of the VIP sludge could be a problem for emptying with pumps when it is too dry. Source: SuSanA on Flickr (2010).

To keep the single VIP free of flies and odours, regular cleaning and maintenance is required. This will also prevent the spread of pathogens (see also health and hygiene issues). Dead flies, spider webs, dust and other debris should be removed from the ventilation screen to ensure a good flow of air. When the pit is full it can either be emptied to treat and reuse the sludge (see also composting or use of compost) or the superstructure and squatting plate can be moved to a new pit. In the latter case, the old pit is covered and decommissioned, which is only advisable if plenty of land area is available. If the superstructure can be moved to a new pit, after several years, the decomposed sludge in the former pit will not cause any health problems and can be dug out without any objectionable smell. The sludge can then be used directly as a fertilizer (see also use of compost in agriculture).

At a Glance

Working Principle

A ventilated improved pit latrine (VIP) is similar to a single pit latrine with addition of a vertical vent pipe. Through the aeration in VIPs, odour and fly nuisances are reduced. Excreta, along with anal cleansing materials (water or solids) are deposited into a pit. Lining the pit prevents it from collapsing and provides support to the superstructure.

Capacity/Adequacy

The VIP is designed for rural and peri-urban areas. It is simple to build and can be constructed by the user itself with locally available material.

Performance

The treatment processes of the faecal material in the pit are limited and stagnant water may promote insect breeding.

Costs

Low-cost

Self-help Compatibility

Can be built and repaired with locally available material. It must be maintained correctly and well-kept.

O&M

Apart from keeping it clean, there is no daily maintenance associated with a VIP. The vent pipe should be cleaned periodically to prevent clogging.

Reliability

If well maintained and constructed, the excreta is at least collected in the pit and risks of infections are lower.

Main strength

No water required; excreta is collected; odours and fly nuisance are reduced compared with a simple pit latrine.

Main weakness

There is danger of groundwater contamination, because of soil infiltration (especially in densely populated areas).

Applicability

Treatment processes in the single VIP (aerobic, anaerobic, dehydration, composting, or otherwise) are limited, and, therefore, pathogen reduction and organic degradation is not significant compared to composting or dehydration toilets. Moreover, due to infiltration, the risk of groundwater contamination is high. However, since the excreta are contained, pathogen transmission to the user is limited. This technology is a significant improvement over single pits or open defecation.

Single VIPs are appropriate for rural and peri-urban areas; in densely populated areas they are often difficult to empty and/or have insufficient space for infiltration. VIPs are especially appropriate when water is scarce and where there is a low groundwater table. Depending on the pit depth, depth to the water table, number of users and soil conditions, some pits can be used for 20 years without emptying. They should be located in an area with a good breeze to ensure effective ventilation. They are not suited for rocky or compacted soils (that are difficult to dig) or for areas that flood frequently.For areas where digging is difficult, the Arborloo could be a suitable option. As an alternative for regions with high groundwater table or frequent flooding, Urine diverting dry toilets could be considered.

Advantages

  • Longer life than single VIP (indefinite if maintained properly)
  • Excavation of humus is easier than faecal sludge
  • Significant reduction in pathogens
  • Potential for use of stored faecal material as soil conditioner
  • Flies and odours are significantly reduced (compared to non-ventilated pits)
  • Can be built and repaired with locally available materials. Long service life
  • Does not require a constant source of water

Disadvantages

  • Leachate can contaminate groundwater
  • No specific reuse of faeces and urine
  • Pits are susceptible to failure/overflowing during floods; stagnant water in pits may promote insect breeding
  • Manual removal of humus is required
  • Possible contamination of groundwater
  • Higher capital costs than Single VIP; but reduced operating costs if self-emptied

References Library

EAWAG/SANDEC (Editor) (2008): Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Lecture Notes . (= Sandec Training Tool 1.0, Module 4). Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (EAWAG), Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC).

LUETHI, C.; NIWAGABA, B.C.; GUENTHER, I.; HORST, A.; MULONGO, P.; GRUETER, R. (2013): Ventilated Improved Latrine Construction in the Slum Areas of Kampala, Uganda. Technical Factsheet. Zuerich: Nachdiplomstudium fuer Entwicklungslaender (NADEL) Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule (ETH). URL [Accessed: 10.10.2013].

MARA, D.D. (1984): The design of Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines. UNDP Interregional Project. (= United Nations Development Programme Interregional Project, 47). Washington: The World Bank. URL [Accessed: 11.10.2013].

MARA, D. (1996): Low-cost Urban Sanitation. United Kingdom: Wiley.

MORGAN, P.; EcoSanRes (Editor) (2009): Ecological Toilets. (pdf presentation). Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute.

MORGAN, P.P. (2011): The Upgradeable Blair VIP . Manual for upgradeable BVIP model with spiral superstructure and tubular vent. Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). URL [Accessed: 31.01.2014].

RYAN, B.A.; MARA, D.D. (1983): Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines: Vent Pipe Design Guidelines. (= UNDP Interregional Project INT/81/047). Washington: The World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). URL [Accessed: 31.01.2014].

SANIMAS (Editor) (2005): Informed Choice Catalogue. pdf presentation. BORDA and USAID.

TILLEY, E.; LUETHI, C.; MOREL, A.; ZURBRUEGG, C.; SCHERTENLEIB, R. (2008): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). URL [Accessed: 15.02.2010].

See document in FRENCH

TILLEY, E.; ULRICH, L.; LUETHI, C.; REYMOND, P.; ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. 2nd Revised Edition. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). URL [Accessed: 28.07.2014]. PDF

WHO (Editor) (1992): A Guide to the Development of On-site Sanitation. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO). URL [Accessed: 14.04.2010].

Further Readings Library

Reference icon

TILLEY, E.; ULRICH, L.; LUETHI, C.; REYMOND, P.; SCHERTENLEIB, R.; ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies (Arabic). 2nd Revised Edition. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). PDF

This is the Arabic version of the Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. The Compendium gives a systematic overview on different sanitation systems and technologies and describes a wide range of available low-cost sanitation technologies.


Reference icon

ARGOSS (Editor) (2001): Guidelines for Assessing the Risk to Groundwater from On-Site Sanitation. (= Commissioned Report, 142). Keyworth: British Geological Survey. URL [Accessed: 30.09.2013].

Many people in developing countries rely upon untreated groundwater supplies for their drinking water (e.g. from drilled boreholes, tube wells, dug wells or springs). The introduction of on-site sanitation systems might lead to groundwater contamination. The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance on how to assess and reduce the risk of contamination of groundwater supplies from on-site sanitation systems and is aimed at those responsible for planning low cost water supply and sanitation schemes.


Reference icon

BRANDBERG, B. (1997): Latrine Building. A Handbook for Implementation of the Sanplat System. London: Intermediate Technology Publications.

This document describes how to build a squatting slab and the moulds for the frame, footrests, spacers, etc.


Reference icon

EAWAG/SANDEC (Editor) (2008): Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Lecture Notes . (= Sandec Training Tool 1.0, Module 4). Duebendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science (EAWAG), Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC).

Lecture notes on technical and non-technical aspects of sanitation systems in developing countries.


Reference icon

ECOSAN CLUB (Editor) (2012): Faecal Sludge Management.. (= Sustainable Sanitation Practice, 13). Vienna: Ecosan Club. URL [Accessed: 16.10.2012].

This issue presents studies from different regions (Bangladesh, Cameroon, Burkina Faso) that mainly show the non-existence of faecal sludge management. Additionally, the last paper describes a new technological solution (LaDePa) for producing hygienically safe organic fertiliser from sludge from ventilated improved pit toilets (VIPs).


Reference icon

Graham, J.; Polizotto, M.L. (2013): Pit Latrines and Their Impacts on Groundwater Quality: a systematic Review. Advance Publication. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. URL [Accessed: 09.04.2013].

This study reviews empirical studies on the impact of pit latrines on groundwater quality and identifies knowledge gaps regarding the potential and consequences of groundwater contamination by latrines.


Reference icon

HARVEY, P.; BAGHRI, S.; REED, B. (2002): Emergency Sanitation: Assessment and Programme Design. Loughborough: Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC). URL [Accessed: 21.02.2011].

This book has been written to help all those involved in planning and implementing emergency sanitation programmes. The main focus is a systematic and structured approach to assessment and programme design. There is a strong emphasis on socio-cultural issues and community participation throughout.Includes an extensive “guidelines” section with rapid assessment instructions and details on programme design, planning and implementation.


Reference icon

MARA, D.D. (1984): The design of Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines. UNDP Interregional Project. (= United Nations Development Programme Interregional Project, 47). Washington: The World Bank. URL [Accessed: 11.10.2013].

The purpose of this paper is to discuss general design criteria for VIP latrines and to review recent developments in VIP latrine design.


Reference icon

MARA, D. (1996): Low-cost Urban Sanitation. United Kingdom: Wiley.

This book covers the public health, technical, socioeconomic, sociocultural and institutional aspects of sanitation in towns and cities of developing countries. The text features excreta-related diseases and the use of sanitation to reduce their transmission. The sanitation technologies covered in detail are VIP latrines, pour-flush toilets, septic tanks, settled sewerage and simplified sewerage, with additional chapters on sullage disposal, pit emptying, and sewage treatment and reuse. Sociocultural constraints on sanitation systems and their socioeconomic costing are described, together with hygiene education, which is essential in order to achieve maximum benefits to health. The text also explains how to choose the most appropriate sanitation option for a given low-income community. Finally, institutional aspects are reviewed, including effective sanitation programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.


Reference icon

MONVOIS, J.; GABERT, J.; FRENOUX, C.; GUILLAUME, M. (2010): How to Select Appropriate Technical Solutions for Sanitation. (= Six Methodological Guides for a Water and Sanitation Services' Development Strategy, 4). Cotonou and Paris: Partenariat pour le Développement Municipal (PDM) and Programme Solidarité Eau (pS-Eau). URL [Accessed: 19.10.2011].

The purpose of this guide is to assist local contracting authorities and their partners in identifying those sanitation technologies best suited to the different contexts that exist within their town. The first part of the guide contains a planning process and a set of criteria to be completed; these assist you in characterizing each area of intervention so that you are then in a position to identify the most appropriate technical solutions. The second part of the guide consists of technical factsheets which give a practical overview of the technical and economic characteristics, the operating principle and the pros and cons of the 29 sanitation technology options most commonly used in sub-Saharan Africa.

See document in FRENCH


Reference icon

MORGAN, P.; EcoSanRes (Editor) (2009): Ecological Toilets. (pdf presentation). Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute.

This book describes how to construct Arborloo toilets and how it can be upgraded to VIPs at a later stage.


Reference icon

MORGAN, P.P. (2011): The Upgradeable Blair VIP . Manual for upgradeable BVIP model with spiral superstructure and tubular vent. Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). URL [Accessed: 31.01.2014].

This manual provides detailed design and construction information on the Blair VIP toilet.


Reference icon

MORGAN, P. (2011): The Blair VIP. A Short History. Peter Morgan. URL [Accessed: 19.06.2013].

This simple document shows the development of the VIP toilet designed by the Blair Institute in Zimbabwe.


Reference icon

NATURE (Editor); MORGAN, P.; OTTERPOHL, R.; PARAMASIVAN, S.; HARRINGTON, E. (2012): Ecodesign: The Bottom Line. In: Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science 486, 186-189. URL [Accessed: 19.06.2012].

There is no single design solution to sanitation. But there are universal principles for systematically and safely detoxifying human excreta, without contaminating, wasting or even using water. Ecological sanitation design — which is focused on sustainability through reuse and recycling — offers workable solutions that are gaining footholds around the world, as Nature explores on the following pages through the work of Peter Morgan in Zimbabwe, Ralf Otterpohl and his team in Germany, Shunmuga Paramasivan in India, and Ed Harrington and his colleagues in California.


Reference icon

ROBENS INSTITUTE (Editor) (1996): Simple Pit Latrine. (= Fact Sheets on Environmental Sanitation). Guildford / Geneva: University of Surrey, World Health Organization (WHO). URL [Accessed: 31.01.2014].

This factsheet contains practical information on the simple pit latrine.


Reference icon

STILL, D.; O RIORDAN, M.; MC BRIDE, A.; LOUTON, B. (2013): Adventures in search of the ideal portable pit-emptying machine. Rugby: Practical Action Publishing. URL [Accessed: 07.08.2013].

This article explores the ideal portable pit-emptying machine for South Africa owing to site access constraints. The Water Research Commission of South Africa funded experimental development of a number of technologies designed to fill the gap between large vacuum tankers and manual emptying. This paper describes these attempts.


Reference icon

TILLEY, E.; ULRICH, L.; LUETHI, C.; REYMOND, P.; ZURBRUEGG, C. (2014): Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. 2nd Revised Edition. Duebendorf, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). URL [Accessed: 28.07.2014]. PDF

This compendium gives a systematic overview on different sanitation systems and technologies and describes a wide range of available low-cost sanitation technologies.


Reference icon

TOUBKISS, J. (2010): How to Manage Public Toilets and Showers. (= Six Methodological Guides for a Water and Sanitation Services' Development Strategy, 5). Cotonou and Paris: Partenariat pour le Développement Municipal (PDM) and Programme Solidarité Eau (pS-Eau). URL [Accessed: 19.10.2011].

The purpose of this decision-making aid is to provide practical advice and recommendations for managing toilet blocks situated in public places. It is primarily aimed at local decision-makers in developing countries and at their partners (project planners and managers).

See document in FRENCH


Reference icon

USAID Afghanistan (Editor) (2010): Latrine and Sanitation Options Manual. Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation (SWSS) Project. Kabul: USAID Afghanistan. URL [Accessed: 15.01.2013].

This Manual aims to serve as a practical guide for the selection of sanitation technology options to satisfy local desires and meet national needs in Afghanistan. It is useful for the professionals and organisations working to address fecal contamination across Afghanistan.


Reference icon

RYAN, B.A.; MARA, D.D. (1983): Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines: Vent Pipe Design Guidelines. (= UNDP Interregional Project INT/81/047). Washington: The World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). URL [Accessed: 31.01.2014].

This technical note sets out preliminary guidelines for the design and construction of vent pipes for ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines.


Reference icon

WHO (Editor) (1992): A Guide to the Development of On-site Sanitation. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO). URL [Accessed: 14.04.2010].

The publication presents appropriate technologies for sanitation and highlights socio-economic aspects of planning and implementing. Emphasis is given to household-level sanitation improvements for urban areas, as well as rural areas and small communities. Background information on sanitation, in-depth technical information on the design, construction, operation and maintenance and project planning and development processes involved in projects and programmes complement the book.


Reference icon

WHO (Editor) (2006): Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater excreta and greywater. Volume IV. Excreta and Greywater Use in Agriculture. Geneva: World Health Organisation. URL [Accessed: 26.02.2010].

Volume IV of the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater recognizes the reuse potential of wastewater and excreta (including urine) in agriculture and describes the present state of knowledge as regards potential health risks associated with the reuse as well as measures to manage these health risks following a multi-barrier approach.


Case Studies Library

Reference icon

Graham, J.; Polizotto, M.L. (2013): Pit Latrines and Their Impacts on Groundwater Quality: a systematic Review. Advance Publication. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. URL [Accessed: 09.04.2013].

This study reviews empirical studies on the impact of pit latrines on groundwater quality and identifies knowledge gaps regarding the potential and consequences of groundwater contamination by latrines.


Reference icon

MORGAN, P. (2007): Available Sanitation Technologies for Rural and Peri-Urban Africa. Stockholm : Ecological Sanitation Research (EcoSanRes), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). URL [Accessed: 20.06.2013].

The presentation allows for a good overview on existing types of pit latrines in Africa, but also on other types of sanitation technologies such as the conventional flush toilet, the pour flush toilet, and the urine diversion dehydration toilet (UDDT).


Reference icon

SHANGWA, A.; MORGAN, P. (2008): How We Made an Arborloo Which Can be Upgraded to VIP. The Chisungu Primary School Water and Sanitation project. Stockholm : Ecological Sanitation Research (EcoSanRes), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). URL [Accessed: 19.06.2013].

The Arborloo is the simplest ecological toilet and is an effective way of starting low cost sanitation programmes. It also demonstrates how valuable the nutrients in human excreta can be. This presentation gives an insight into the following aspects: - What is anArborloo? - What is an Arborloo? - Stages in life of the Arborloo - Planting trees on or near Arborloo pits - Stages in the construction of the Arborloo - Vent pipes - Construction of the Blair VIP


Reference icon

UNEP (Editor) (2002): A Directory of Environmentally Sound Technologies for the Integrated Management of Solid, Liquid and Hazardous Waste for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific Region. The Hague: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). URL [Accessed: 28.03.2012].

This directory is part of UNEP collaboration with SIDS on the implementation of the Waste Management chapter of the Barbados Programme of Action. It focuses primarily on proven sound environmental technologies for solid, liquid and hazardous waste management plus those currently successfully being used in SIDS within the Pacific Region.


Reference icon

WATERAID (Editor) (n.y.): The ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine. London: WaterAid. URL [Accessed: 08.12.2010].

This poster shows a nice drawing how a VIP works and what needs to be considered.


Awareness Raising Material Library

Reference icon

WELL (Editor) (2006): The Microbial Contamination of Water Supplies from Pit Latrines. (= WELL Fact-sheets). Loughborough: Water and Environmental health at London and Loughborough (WELL). URL [Accessed: 07.12.2010].

This factsheet describes the microbiological contamination of water supplies. It gives an overview on pathogens and its characteristics as well as methods to reduce the risk of contamination.


Training Material Library

Reference icon

PRACTICAL ACTION (Editor) (n.y.): Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines . (= Technical Briefs). Bourton on Dunsmore: Practical Action, Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development. URL [Accessed: 05.01.2011].

Short brief on the construction of ventilated improved pit latrines


Reference icon

REED, B.; SHAW, R. (2013): Latrine Slabs. (= WEDC Posters, 1). London: Water, Engineering and Development Center (WEDC). URL [Accessed: 07.08.2013].

This poster is part of the series of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene posters designed by the Water, Engineering and Development Center of Loughborough University.


Reference icon

REED, B.; SHAW, R. (2013): Simple Pit Latrines. Poster. (= WEDC Posters, 10). London: Water, Engineering and Development Center (WEDC). URL [Accessed: 28.08.2013].

This poster is part of the series of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene posters designed by the Water, Engineering and Development Center of Loughborough University.


Reference icon

PICKFORD, J.; SHAW, R. (1997): Emptying Pit Latrines. (= Technical Briefs, No. 54). Loughborough: Water and Environmental health at London and Loughborough (WELL). URL [Accessed: 26.04.2010].

This technical brief describes several possibilities of emptying pit latrines and helps to find the most suitable method.


Reference icon

WELL (Editor) (n.y.): Latrine Slabs and Seats. (= WELL Technical Briefs, 45). Loughborough: Water and Environmental health at London and Loughborough (WELL). URL [Accessed: 26.04.2010].

This technical brief describes pit latrines and possible slabs and seats to cover them.


Important Weblinks

http://www.irc.nl/page/79727 [Accessed: 07.08.2013]

This video by IRC’s WASHCost project examines the full costs of building traditional latrines in Mozambique. There, cost data for planning are collected by local authorities. They gather the information around households in the area. Households are visited and their sanitation situation is assessed. This gives a clear picture of what is actually achieved.