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Development of an Improved Arborloo to Promote Sanitation in Rural Environments

Every 20 seconds a child dies from a preventable illness caused by unsafe drinking water, poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation [1]. Although the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water access have been met ahead of schedule, the world is not on track to meet goals for access to sanitation by 2015 [2]. Nearly half of the people living in developing regions still lack improved sanitation [3]. Poor countries with large rural populations offer even less access to sanitation. For instance, in Haiti, sanitation coverage actually declined between 1990 and 2010 (from 24% to 17%) and only 10% of rural Haitians currently have any form of improved sanitation [4]. The goal of this project is to design, develop and evaluate a simple, inexpensive, and effective toilet that can be easily erected in remote locations and installed using local labor with few or no tools. The design must be capable of withstanding local climate extremes (strong winds and rains) without permanent damage while providing the user privacy and protection from the elements. Most importantly, the final design will be an affordable, marketable product intended to increase the comfort, convenience, and social status of its owner rather than a do-it-yourself project. The new toilet designs should help accelerate the toilet dissemination process using marketing strategies. Because the designs will be fabricated using as much local labor and materials as possible, their manufacture, marketing, sales, installation and maintenance may provide an entrepreneurial opportunity within the community.

PI: Brian Thorn

Funding Sources: EPA

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