Tag Archives: public toilets

New guide on female-friendly toilets by WaterAid, WSUP and Unicef

1 in 3 people across the world don’t have a decent toilet of their own. But it’s not just a question of lacking a household toilet – low availability of public and community toilets is also an issue. Where they do exist, these facilities often don’t meet the needs of women and girls, undermining women’s human rights.

The ‘Female-friendly guide‘, out in October 2018 and written by WaterAid, UNICEF and WSUP, is designed primarily for use by local authorities in towns and cities who are in charge of public and community toilets. It’s also useful for national governments, public and private service providers, NGOs, donors and civil society organisations who play a role in delivering these services.

The guide explains why toilets must be female-friendly, before detailing the essential and desirable features needed to make them so. It also suggests ways to increase gender sensitivity in town planning on sanitation.

Recommendations and practical steps have been drawn from existing literature, expert opinion and analysis of pioneering experiences from around the world.

The guide is available to download now, and will also be presented at the UNC Water and Health Conference on 1 November 2018.

Download “Female-friendly public and community toilets: a guide for planners and decision makers”.

This news item was originally published on WaterAid’s WASH Matters website.

Indestructible and smart: public toilet innovation in India

An interview with sanitation entrepreneur Mayank Midha.

garv-toilet-1-horz

Stainless steel GARV Ttoilets and Mayank Midha

As a child, Mayank Midha remembers how his mother and sister suffered during long distance journeys in India. They had to “hold themselves up” because there were hardly any decent public toilets on the way.

There is still a shortage of well-maintained public toilets in India, says Mayank. This affects women and girls most. Men can more easily urinate or defecate in the open.

Indestructible toilets

On 7 September 2016, Mayank Midha won the Sanitation Innovation Accelerator 2016, a search for an inclusive and sustainable solution for rural sanitation in India. The judges praised Mayank for developing an indestructible smart toilet, which is much cheaper than comparable models without comprising on quality.

Mayank has been in the manufacturing business for the past seven years. As an engineer with a post-graduate degree in rural management, he is interested in technical solutions for the poorest people at the “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP). After completing a project to manufacture telecom enclosure panels, he saw three spare panels lying in the factory. Their structure  made Mayank think, why not change some specifications and use them to construct Portable Smart Toilets?

After a year a prototype was ready in 2015 and in 2016 the stainless steel insulated GARV Toilet was born. Solar panels power LED lights and exhaust fans inside the toilet. Using stainless steel for the superstructure, toilet pans, and washbasins has multiple advantages: the units are vandal-proof, easy to clean and they don’t rust. This means a higher shelf-life with lower operating costs.

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Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums?

Policy Note: Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums? April 2016. Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

Although households would prefer to have private facilities, conditions suggest that shared public toilets will, for the foreseeable future, continue to be the main available option for defecation in the slums of Accra. In this context, efforts are needed to improve existing and new public toilets to make them hygienic and safely managed in order to provide sanitation services that result in public health benefits.

Since public toilets do not meet the JMP criteria for an improved toilet, they also do not meet current government of Ghana standards. This in turn creates a disincentive for local governments to invest in public toilets and related safe management of the fecal sludge as part of their urban sanitation services.

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India, Mumbai: man killed for taking too long in public toilet

Queuing for the Gents in Mumbai. Photo: Hindustan Times

A slum resident from Mahim in Mumbai ended up killing his neighbour whom he felt had taken too long in a public toilet. Locals feel the tragic death could have been avoided if only the civic authorities had provided sufficient public toilets.

“We have no sanitation facility. Sometimes, basic human needs take over all rationale. and that is what happened today. It’s a tragedy that two lives were destroyed over such a petty matter. The authorities must take note of this,” said a resident.

The unfortunate incident took place on Saturday evening, 28 January 2012, when Simon Lingeree went to a public toilet near Devaji Govind Chawl, the slum where he lived. With Lingeree apparently taking too long, Santosh Kargutkar (40), who was in the queue, started banging on the door and abused him

When Lingeree finally came out, the two got into a fight. Lingeree was knocked unconscious and rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead. A few hours later the police arrested Kargutkar and charged him with murder.

Source: Times of India, 30 Jan 2012

Bangladesh: WaterAid gets Swiss and Swedish grants for WASH projects

WaterAid has signed funding agreements with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for two WASH projects in Bangladesh.

Photo: WaterAid/ Abir Abdullah & ASM Shafiqur Rahman

SDC and WaterAid signed a grant agreement on 30 November 2011 for a 316 million Taka (US$ 3.84 million) three year rural WASH programme. SDC will provide 265.5 million Taka (US$ 3.23 million), and WaterAid the rest. If successful, SDC will extend support for another 3 years.

Most of the funding will go the ‘Promotion of water supply, sanitation and hygiene in hard -to-reach areas of rural Bangladesh’ project, which aims to provide safe drinking water to 500,000 rural people, latrines to 1.3 million and hygiene education to another 1 million people. WaterAid’s inclusion and climate change programmes will also benefit.

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Pakistan, Karachi: sanitation, more than just household latrines

This moving anecdote illustrates how the lack of public toilet affects women in Pakistan. It was posted as a comment to an article in newspaper Dawn about the release in Pakistan of WaterAid’s report “Off-track, off-target: Why investment in water, sanitation and hygiene is not reaching those who need it most”.

Besides 48 million Pakistanis who defecated in the open, there are millions of women in big cities who have no place to go to when out of their homes. Pakistani women are shoppers, they spend hours in bazaars where there are few public toilets for men, and most certainly, none for women. I experienced an incident sometime ago, and also sent the story to Jung newspaper; they published it under the heading “Vo auwrat”, but nothing was done about it. I was approached by a young boy hardly 5-6 years old near Empress Market who asked me where the toilet was. I stopped and looked around and saw a young woman in burka sitting on her heels near the wall on the footpath with tears in her eyes, and she covered her face when she saw me looking at her. I did nothing, I could do nothing, I just walked away. People who have been to the Empress Market know that nothing could be done to help that poor lady. How many women go through that agony in Pakistan, everyday, I don’t know.

Source: Agha Ata, comment posted 20 Nov 2011 on “Causing a Stink”, Dawn, 19 Nov 2011

11th World Toilet Summit, Haikou, Hainan, China, 22-24 November 2011

 

Organised by the World Toilet Organization and Government of Hainan Province, the theme of the 2011 World Toilet Summit is “Toilet Civilization: Health, Tourism, and Quality of Life”.

The Summit will be held in conjunction with 2011 World Toilet & Bathroom Equipment Exhibition

Programme highlights:

  • WTO Toilet Design Competition Presentation
  • Launch of International Code Council Guidelines on Public Toilets
  • Launch of World Excellence Public Toilet
  • Presentations on public toilet design and maintenance, toilets and public transport, African school toilets, urban sanitation, sanitation in slums, sanitation as a business, domestic toilets, and waste recycling
  • Launch of the construction of the new World Toilet Museum

Contact:

Miss Chen, Mr. Liu, World Toilet Summit Committee 2011, 106 office in The Third Office Building, 49 Rd Haifu, Meilan area in Haikou, Code: 570204, China
E-mail: lyw65200685@126.com, tel.: 0898-65200683, 65200685, fax: 66775372

To register and for more information go the Summit web site