In the U.S., we have telephones and even television. In Japan, they have heated seats. In Afghanistan, they have $250,000 up-armored Humvees.
You may think I talking about the latest in vehicle luxury. Unfortunately, I am not. This is about bathrooms.
As hot as it get’s in the summer, it gets equally cold during the winter. Our standard for construction is to place the bathrooms in a separate facility so if they over flow or or otherwise have problems, they don’t ruin the sleeping or working facilities with them. These facilities, known as LSS (Life Support System), are not always heated effectively. The quarter-million-dollar Humvees we provide the ANA do have effective heaters.
Earlier this year, an inventory was conducted of all vehicles. In one location, only 18 of the 36 up-armored Humvees could be found. The inspectors asked where the remaining 18 were and they were shown. Upon opening the doors, they were greeting with the putrid smell of feces and urine (not uncommon in Afghanistan). Each vehicle was filled with human waste. During the winter, the Afghans had been warming-up the Humvees and then using them to relieve bodily functions in the warmer, more comfortable environment.
The good news is that stress level went down in ANA soldiers since they didn’t have to worry about incoming fire when sitting “in” the toilet.