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One Million

It’s a huge milestone. Since the launching of the Community-Led Total Sanitation Program (CLTS) in Zambia a little over a year ago, there have been 1 million new adopters of better sanitation practices. By building latrines and hand washing stations, learning more about how bacteria is transmitted and how to prevent diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and cholera, rural Zambia has made incredible gains this year. At Akros, we have had the honor of partnering with the the Zambian Ministry of Local Government and Housing and our colleagues at UNICEF to bring this program to Zambia in a big way. One million people. Wow.

To celebrate, we put together a story that is just a small snapshot of this movement – a moment in time of a latrine being built in a tiny, rural village in the heart of Zambia. When you read this story, imagine this happening all over this beautiful country every day. Imagine the thousands upon thousands of families who now have a facility to use and call their own. We’re excited to celebrate this impressive milestone, and we applaud the tireless work of the men and women on the ground every day making this idea a reality.

To build a latrine

Story and photos by Andy Prinsen

The pit seems deep …

… about eight feet down and the width and length of a refrigerator. Davit Mapyapya climbs in using small footholds he has carved along the walls, his hands flat against the ground as he lowers his tall, lanky frame inside. It’s 1pm here in Kapelabulungu, a small village in Zambia’s Mumbwa district. The sun sometimes tucks behind the clouds, offering a momentary pause from its blaze, but the relief is always temporary. Davit and his three eldest sons have barely begun to work before their skin is already glistening with sweat. They scoop the last of the rocky soil from the bottom, sending it up one load at a time in a green bucket with a red rope tied around the handle. They know not to make this pit much deeper, to always keep it less than three meters deep to prevent contaminating ground water. This pit – this hole in the ground placed just between the end of their home compound and the beginning of their fields – is the beginning of a latrine that Davit thinks will serve his family for the next decade.

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Akros strengthens national health systems in developing countries.

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