Design Outreach

Alleviating Global Poverty Through Life-Sustaining Technology

Innovations in Development


Improved Sanitation & Hygiene through Reliable Latrines

The problem: Access to quality, affordable latrines

Access to quality, affordable  latrines is crucial for disease prevention and sanitation in developing countries. Without them, community health and development suffer. Unfortunately, the most commonly used toilets globally—pit latrines—pose problems related to affordability, maintenance, and waste disposal. While the common pit latrine is a simple technology, it is not necessarily inexpensive. Pit latrines are often difficult to maintain over time because the pits fill with waste and the pit walls collapse, rendering the pit unusable.

The solution: LifeLatrine

Recognizing the need for sustainable, affordable latrines as a vital step in alleviating poverty, Design Outreach has assembled a team of experts in project management, engineering, human factors design, sanitation, soil mechanics, and polymer manufacturing.  They are working together to determine how to create a pit liner and floor slab that are affordable for a single family, will keep pit walls from collapsing, and can be reused.

In 2021, the team completed critical initial research into the challenge of constructing pit latrines, studied and evaluated available solutions, and began developing new concepts now being tested. LifeLatrine™ is a sustainable, affordable solution to support improved sanitation and hygiene in developing countries.

Slab - Durable polymer floor slab that is safe, sturdy and easy to clean.

Vent Pipe - VIP vent pipe to minimize odor and flying insects.

Pit Liner - Durable polymer ring segments to stabilize pit walls.

Enclosure - Homeowner supplied with local building materials.

How LifeLatrine Works

  • Designed for a single family in a rural community.
  • Capable of being emptied and possibly removed and reused.
  • Costs under $85 USD when produced at distribution scale.

How LifeLatrine Alleviates Global Poverty

  • Gives communities an affordable option for safe and hygienic latrines.
  • Promotes improved sanitation, leading to better health and hygiene.
  • Provides families with an affordable latrine option that promotes human dignity.