Get rid of wastes safely
A safe waste pit
1. Dig a pit 1 to 2 meters wide and 2 to 5 meters deep. The bottom of the pit
should be at least 1 meters above the water table.
2. Line the inside of the pit with a layer of
clay or rocks at least 10 centimeters thick.
3. Build up a ridge of earth around the
top of the pit to prevent surface water
from running in.
4. Build a fence around the area where the
pit is located to keep animals out.
Each time waste is put in the pit, cover the waste with 10 centimeters of soil, or
a mix of soil and lime. Lime helps
disinfect the waste, and will also keep animals away while the pit is in use.
When the waste rises to ≤ meter from the surface, cover it with ≤ meter of soil
and seal it with a layer of concrete at least 90 centimeters thick. If the pit is used
only for medical waste and not for regular garbage, it will not fill up too quickly.
Use the 50-meter rule when
you dig a hole to bury wastes.
When wastes are sent to a garbage dump, they can spread infections there.
In many places, people pick through garbage to find things to sell, like used
syringes. This is dangerous for the people picking through the garbage, and
for the people who buy the syringes to use them again.
When a syringe is not usable anymore, dispose of it safely. If you must
send needles to the garbage dump, sterilize them first, and seal them in a
box or tin.
A Book for Midwives (2010)