Composting Latrines at the GGM Clinic

by Greatest Goal Ministries USA

Dear Global Giving Donor,

We are grateful to all the support given to this project in the past and our ability to have built a composting latrine at our previous clinic site thanks to your donations.

However, in October of 2012 Greatest Goal Ministries was granted a new facility for our free clinic in an area called Lakka, in the rural western district just outside the capitol city of Freetown in Sierra Leone.    Our new facility has a good water supply and flush toilets.  We conducted a 6 mile randomized water and sanitation survey of the structures surrounding our new facility and interviewed 350 individuals. The results of our survey can be
found on our web site, .

Since the location where we were previously working has changed so has the need.  We will end
this project and our focus will start with clean water at our new clinic site.

We are grateful to all our contributors and look forward to updating GlobalGiving soon with a new project.

Thank you!

From March 16th – April 2 a 10 member team from Greatest Goal Ministries will be traveling to Sierra Leone.  One of the primary objectives will be a two week household survey of a 6 mile radius surrounding the new Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital in Lakka in conjunction with the local chief and council members.

The survey questions and development of the survey area were created by a MPH (Masters in Public Health) and a PHD research data methodologist. The purpose of the survey will be to identify positive and negative health impacts associated with drinking water and sanitation in the designated  6 mile area.  This will allow for the development and recommendation of appropriate changes to improve the health and prevent disease in the community.

The area has been subdivided into 120 quadrants and these have been randomly placed in order.  A 12 member team composed of USA team volunteers and local interpreters will begin canvassing the areas asking oral questions through person to person interviewing at the selected households.  The survey has been kept small to allow for short answers to avoid reduced response rates.  All questions are closed-ended, multiple choice, ordinal or interval.

A summary of the results of this survey will be reported as well as a more formal document.   Once the results have been compiled the composting latrine concept will be introduced into the community where appropriate.

We are very excited about the information we receive from this survey and how we can then better assist and improve the lives of our new Lakka community.


Building of latrine cover frame
Building of latrine cover frame

In October of 2012, the construction of two composting latrines at the GGM clinic site in Murray Town began.  An amputee with construction experience acted as foreman and 4 high school students volunteered their time on the project. 

The original intent was to build the composting latrines at the clinic compound and use it as a teaching tool for the community.  However there was an unexpected development.  Greatest Goal Ministry was given a
new clinic site and clinic building by the office of the First Lady of Sierra Leone in Lakka just outside the capital of Freetown. The previous clinic was closed and moved to the new building delaying completion of the project. 

The 300.00 USD  raised to date and was used to build the framed concrete covers for 4 latrines.  The new plan is to build the latrines at an all-girls school in Freetown.  The head matron is very interested in the project and the school is in great need of additional toilets. 

The structure to enclose the latrines will be made of chicken wire and paper filled plastic bottles. The gathering of those bottles is continuing and many children have picked up litter from around their neighborhoods and stuffing bottles to assist with the project. 

Completion of the project will take place once the additional funds are raised.  Thank you for your assistance in this endeavor.

Metal bars inserted into frame before concrete
Metal bars inserted into frame before concrete
Completed frame with bars
Completed frame with bars
Concrete poured
Concrete poured
Children collecting paper scraps to fill bottles
Children collecting paper scraps to fill bottles
Plastic bottles will be used for the walls
Plastic bottles will be used for the walls

Sierra Leone's cholera outbreak is all over the news and a few of the links to the headlines are listed below. Cholera is a preventable disease but it spreads like wildfire in a country such as Sierra Leone ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. Lack of housing, crowded living conditions, poor to no sanitation, a lack of understanding of basic hygiene, lack of clean water all of these descriptions help create the picture of why the epidemic is traveling so fast and why more will die before the epidemic is over.

GGM's construction of composting latrines and their introduction into the Western area of Freetown may help in a small way to introduce new ideas which hopefully can begin to travel faster than the epidemic. On September 22, 2012 a small GGM team will be traveling to Freetown. Working with local teen agers who have previously agreed to assist with this project and, with funds raised to date from our Globalgiving project. A minimum of two latrines will be built on the clinic compound. After one of the latrines is filled it is closed and lies dormant for at least one year. After that time if it is completely dry it can be emptied and the human waste can be used as fertilizer for gardens. While it is dormant the second latine is in use. Once built we will begin to open this idea to the community and help teach them how they can build their own family composting latrines.

We look forward to sharing the results of this project with you when we return in mid-October.


With the help from community youths, GGM will introduce the concept of composting latrines.  A total of 6 latrines will be built with 3 of the latrines in operation at any one time.  When a latrine becomes full the holding tank will be covered and allowed to dry.  The building shelter will then be moved to one of the three remaining latrines to be used until it becomes full.

The contents of the initial latrines, after one year, and when dry, then becomes composting material that can be used in gardens and fields. 

Sanitation is a tremendous problem for the community surrounding our clinic and the country as a whole.  If the youth can successfully complete this project they can then share what they have learned within their individual family units and spread the idea.


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Organization Information

Greatest Goal Ministries USA

Location: Bellevue, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Greatest Goal Ministries USA
Project Leader:
Carolynn (Lynn) Pelton
Executive Director
Bellevue, Wa Sierra Leone

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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