A Community-Driven Design Process for Household Toilets in Shada
Written by our friends at re.source – a start-up team based out of Stanford University, funded by a Grand Challenges Explorations Phase 1 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The re.source team is partnering with SOIL to help design an improved household EcoSan toilet and a social business model for providing household sanitation in urban slums. See other blog posts by the re.source team here.
Even as we’re looking to start piloting our collection service with one of our existing designs, we’re always working to design a better toilet. To that end, Sebastien loaded a few models, prototypes, and concepts into the truck with SOIL’s Erinold Frederic, and went to consult with the experts: our household toilet users in Shada.
You wouldn’t think there could be much variety in toilet designs, but the range of nuances and features to be tackled is tremendous. So we test out different models (the front-loader, the top-loader, the shorty, the flusher…), and see how our users react. Really, we don’t believe there’s such a thing as THE toilet design. Every toilet back home is a little different, why should they all be the same in Haiti? What matters is to create a line of toilets and features all compatible with an effective, hygienic waste removal mechanism.
We look to our users for their opinion, and they don’t hold back.
The design workshop went well, and we had no trouble recruiting families to try out a new concept or two. Now it’s time for some more long-term evaluation.