The role of the Outhouse in safeguarding our health
Our Readers' Opinions
July 4, 2023

The role of the Outhouse in safeguarding our health

Editor: Since Bible times, the importance of proper disposal of human waste was recognized. This single act has contributed to the prevention of some infectious diseases. It is still true that “cleanliness is next to godliness.” This is why clear instructions in the Bible were given to dispose of human waste. “And you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement.” Deuteronomy 23:13.

In its original form, solid waste is to be put in a hole dug about 6 inches deep, then properly covered. When this is done, the waste will decompose over time and become nutrition for plants. Sewage treatment on land or sea seeks to make the waste harmless before being released into the environment.

Most people in the country except for those in the Grenadines, have public water supply and use water closets to help dispose of human waste. Because of the limited supply of potable water in the Grenadines, outhouses or latrines are of greater importance. There are several designs, some include exhaust pipes to reduce unpleasant odours. Public health guidance is needed for best practices to be adopted. In times of disaster when water supply in St. Vincent may be interrupted, outhouses may be useful. When my house was being constructed, the out house was the first structure to be built because of the need for the workers to dispose of their human waste.

Farms, nature trails, yachts, sea bathers and ordinary homes must have adequate methods of human waste disposal. The consequence of improper disposal are grave and each community must police itself to ensure that our health is safeguarded.

Anthony G. Stewart, PhD