In November the world celebrated another World Toilet Day, which originated in
November 19, 2001 and the idea behind was to bring awareness to people on the significance of having hygienic toilets in their families. And in honor of this special occasion I would like to bring you up to date of the recently installed indoor toilets at the Singapore . Crooked Tree Village School
Since 1952 children of the
Outdoor wash area in early days Crooked Tree Village
The only indoor toilets in the village up until the early 1980’s were at the Nazarene Church Mission, The Nazarene Clinic and
, The Crooked Tree Police Station, the residence of the school principal and the Government Guest House. The Government Guest House had a super modern bathroom that was used for visiting dignitaries like one of the first British Governor of Belize, Sir Colin Thornley; Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price; the Chief Education Officer and other government officials. Health Center
Most of the latrines used by villagers were a crude pit in the ground with a wooden box covering. In some extreme cases, some families would simply defecate in open fields or behind bushes some distance away from the dwelling houses. In the 1960’s the Government of Belize introduced a program where each household were issued a 4x4 concrete slab with a hole in the middle that fits perfectly over the pit in the ground and a wooden dome or pyramid shaped seat, about two feet tall for sitting. I don’t remember if there was a cost to each household, but I very much doubt it because most of the families would not have been able to afford to pay.
Crooked Tree School in 1952
In 1952 the school was moved to its current location and two gender based communal latrines were installed in the far corner of the school compound, away from the main school. Each building had three seats in one compartment and one seat in the other, the latter, reserved only for the teachers. Odor and insects problems were rarely present because of the rotating cleaning that was done by the school children and the use of kerosene dumped into the holes to keep the odor at bay. The holes were relatively deep and extra wide as to avoid frequent emptying or maintenance.
The one luxury that was missing form our latrines was toilet paper, but we made do by ripping a page from our note book. Whenever permission was given by the teacher to go to the toilet we would start rubbing our paper on the walk to the latrine. By the time our business was completed the paper was as soft as any cheap toilet paper today. I can safely say that the latrines at the
were never filthy or degrading. Crooked Tree School
Starting the construction
On October 16th, 2010 forty two parents and teachers of
Crooked Tree Village embarked on the construction of two concrete bathrooms for the . The facilitation for these projects came through the Belize Red Cross Disaster Relief Program with funding from the Norwegian Red Cross. The community undertakes the construction every Saturday and by December of 2010 the bathrooms ( two for girls and two for boys) were open for use. The final touch, tiles to the floor, was added this July. Crooked Tree School
For this school year, 2011/2012, pit latrines are now a thing of the pass at the
. Crooked Tree Village School
Two new bathroomsBZ$1,000.00, was recently donated by Village View Post toward supplies for the bathroom and two other toilet bathroom projects in other villages, split evenly between the Crooked Tree bathroom and the Belize Red Cross.
The Village View Post coordinated a fundraiser in which we were able to raise US$550. Bz$500 went to the Belize Red Cross and Bz$500 to the school for the purchase of bathroom supplies.
Children at the school with donated supplies
Thanks to: Laura Crawford, Neomi Westby, Beverly Tillett Anthony, Cheryl Gillett, Sherlett Tillett, Mary Tillett Lammey, Clarence and Abigail Tillett, Nora Wade, Hannah Crawford, Daisy Wade Wheeler, Lydia Tillett Kinnard, Louise Crawford, Robbie Dawson, Esther Cadle, Rose Dawson, Calbert Gillett, Jr, Godfrey Wade
Photo #6-13 by Judith Quiros