Clean and accessible bathroom facilities are something that most of us take for granted and expect as an everyday convenience; it is almost impossible for us to imagine any other kind of situation. But for 2.5 billion people – 40% of the world’s population – the options are unsafe toilets or practicing open defecation.

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Conventional sanitation – a flush toilet connected to a centralized sewer system – is possible for only a small fraction of people in the world. In developing countries, with water already a scarce commodity, it is impossible to build a centralized sewer system to begin with. This is why Deeper Missions seeks to use the latest in waterless, culturally correct latrine designs, such as the “Eloo”, made in Africa, for Africa.

One of the central components of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); poor sanitation and hygiene hinders meeting MDGs related to improving child health and mortality. WASH improvements can be as straightforward as the design and availability of improved latrines that do not contaminate ground water and prevent the breeding of germ-carrying insects. In Sierra Leone, only 31% of the entire nation have access to improved sanitation, the majority are people living in urban areas.

Every year, food and water tainted with fecal matter cause 2.5 billion cases of diarrhea among children under five, resulting in 1.5 million child deaths. Chronic illness hinders child development by impeding the uptake of essential nutrients that are critical to the health of children’s minds, bodies and immune systems.

Deeper Missions is committed to bringing health-building solutions to communities, schools and hospitals, such as the Eloos for the Ebert-Kakua School for the Deaf, and for Mercy Hospital, shown above, and built in part with a grant from The Child Health Foundation.