Press Release: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years (single or double pit pour flush toilets, Easy Latrine) - and general discussion
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TOPIC: Press Release: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years (single or double pit pour flush toilets, Easy Latrine) - and general discussion

Press Release: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years (single or double pit pour flush toilets, Easy Latrine) - and general discussion 13 Jun 2014 13:01 #8964

  • kckoch
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June 13, 2014

Dear SuSanA Community,

iDE Global WASH Initiative is issuing a press release and infographic to announce 100,000 latrines sold in Cambodia in the two year window of April 2012 to April 2014. See links below. We are particularly proud of this achievement because the latrines were sold through the power of markets. This is the fastest scaling sanitation marketing program that we are aware of anywhere. Please feel free to share the infographic on your own social media channels.

Link to Press Release:
www.ideorg.org/OurStory/Publications/iDE_PR_CBD100k.pdf

Link to Infographic:
www.ideorg.org/OurStory/Publications/iDE_infographic_100k.pdf

Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you have regarding the press release documents: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The contact for questions regarding the latrine project itself is Yi Wei: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Best,

KC Koch
Communications Manager
iDE Global WASH Initiative
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++++++++++++++

Note by moderator:

This thread has been broken in two parts on 27 June 2014 to create a separate thread for the issue of lime treatment of faecal sludge from pit latrines (pilot project of iDE):
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...a-and-other-examples
Last Edit: 27 Jun 2014 21:40 by muench.
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The Power of Sanitation Marketing 22 Jun 2014 18:44 #9023

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According to the press release (see: sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2014/06/...et-sales-in-2-years/) of iDE, an international non-government organization based in 13 countries (press release attached), iDE Cambodia has sold 100,000 hygienic latrines in two years through stimulating local private enterprises to sell toilets to customers. In Cambodia, iDE have reached 180,000 households with farming, business, water and sanitation solutions.

This is an interesting and major achievement in sanitation. The Infographic shown has an eye-catching title: “How do you sell 100,000 latrines in rural Cambodia? - You ignite the power of markets.” The key ingredients, highlighted in the Infographic are:

The Power of Markets

People thrive when they’re connected. Especially if their network empowers them to buy and sell what they need to lead healthier lives. iDE strengthens supply chains and stimulates demand for sanitation services. Once viable markets are established, everyone involved has financial incentives to keep them going.

Human-Centered Design

Poor people can participate in markets —as customers, sales agents or producers— that are designed with them in mind. Find out what they desire and what will work for them. Then design products and business models to suit their wants and needs.

Human-Centered Sales

Sales agents are more successful when they have tools and methods for ethical selling. Through village meetings and home visits, trained sales agents help people weigh the cost of action versus inaction, and decide if a latrine investment will pay off for them.

A related and useful publication is the WSP’s Sanitation Marketing Lessons from Cambodia: A Market Based Approach to Delivering Sanitation (attached). The key factors that aid sanitation marketing are (listed by WSP): affordable and desirable latrine; strengthening the supply chain; change behaviour; and create demand.

Reading both publications make it clear that the listed ingredients have all the potential to market sanitation effectively.

Could I kindly request colleagues from Africa to document their experience on sanitation marketing?

F H Mughal
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Last Edit: 23 Jun 2014 08:57 by muench.
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Re: The Power of Sanitation Marketing 23 Jun 2014 12:47 #9029

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Hi,
the number itself does not impress. Why? How is emptying done? or what is the concept of long term maintenance? will they be rebuild? does not seem so as concrete spuerstructure is mentioned, so they have to be emptied. Where will the fecal sludge go? So can we be happy about these 100.000 latrines?

You write "iDE is currently working on a project funded by Grand Challenges Canada to explore using lime as a disinfectant of waste at the household level."
Is that really a way? for fecal sludge? Who handles that.

Regards
Christoph
Last Edit: 23 Jun 2014 12:50 by christoph.

Re: The Power of Sanitation Marketing 24 Jun 2014 15:21 #9054

  • kckoch
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Dear Christoph,

Thank you very much for your questions. Yes, indeed, we agree that fecal sludge management is a critical component of responsible sanitation programs. In fact, this is why we are currently looking at a project that uses hydrated lime to enable hygienic household emptying of pit contents. Current practice in rural Cambodia is to often manually empty pit contents, which is very unhygienic. However, hydrated lime effectively raises the pH of pit contents to a level that kills all pathogen with the exception of helminth eggs within two hours, and all pathogens including helminth eggs within pH. Furthermore, a secondary benefit of hydrated lime is that it is often used as an agricultural amendment, raising the pH of soil, which in Cambodia, is quite acidic. We are also looking into whether lime treated sludge will lead to increased agricultural yield. To learn more about this project, please visit our press release on the Sanitation Updates page, which includes a link to a paper about this lime project: sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2014/06/...et-sales-in-2-years/

We did not expressly address this project in the press release as it is still early stage, and we wanted to focus on the news at hand - rapid uptake through the market in one of the most successful sanitation programs to date. While a complete sanitation and FSM program is, of course, the ideal. We must concurrently and continuously address the issues of basic access.

Best,

KC
Last Edit: 25 Jun 2014 11:29 by muench.

Re: Press Release and infographic: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years - and the power of sanitation marketing 25 Jun 2014 07:02 #9065

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I was also put off a bit by the marketing speak and I think iDE is probably overstating their role in the construction of those 100,000 latrines...

But lets look at the broader picture: there is a dynamically scaling up sanitation market in Cambodia these days (probably with or without iDE) and they have realized that there is no good way to get rid of pit latrine contents.

This is a problem that has no "best practise" solution (yet?) and it is good that various approaches are tested.

If farmers are used to handling lime for agricultural purposes and would have put a similar amount of lime on their fields anyway, there seems to be little reason why it shouldn't be mixed with pit-latrine contents from time to time.

Sure, there are many technicalities and it is a relative niche target-group (slightly better off farmers, although that might be a reasonably large group in Cambodia), but it is simple enough of an intervention that people can figure out how to do it.

Now granted, this isn't nearly as an "break-through" idea as iDE makes it look in their promotional material, nor will the pathogen reduction they have seen in small scale laboratory test materialize quite the same way in real-world application, but it isn't a bad approach at all.
Krischan Makowka
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Last Edit: 25 Jun 2014 09:11 by JKMakowka.
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Re: Press Release and infographic: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years - and the power of sanitation marketing 27 Jun 2014 00:39 #9102

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Hi all,

Quite a lot of discussion happening about a variety of topics. There are many important concerns, thoughts, and pieces of feedback being shared, and for that we at iDE thank you for your thoughtful consideration and input.

To provide a brief response to some of what I was reading.

There was concern regarding how many of the 100,000 latrines can be attributed to iDE. I can assure you we have very strong M&E systems that can directly attribute all of those latrine sales to businesses that iDE engaged, trained, and supported. In fact, we also see a very strong ripple effect - Businesses that did not work with iDE in any way are selling the same (or slightly modified) versions of the latrine through the same business model to additional customers. The latrine sales made by these businesses that did not work with iDE were not counted in our 100,000 sales - so actually the catalytic impact of the market is far greater than the 100,000 sales we mentioned. Please contact me directly if you would like more 'proof' of these sales.

There is a heated conversation about fecal sludge management in these latrines. We absolutely agree that getting somebody to use a latrine is not the final solution. Proper fecal sludge management is essential to fully closing the sanitation loop. As far as I know, nobody has solved the fecal sludge management problem in rural areas - especially with a product/service that is affordable and desirable by customers (if I am wrong here please send me the info - I would love to learn more). Thus, iDE and many other organizations are working on this challenge. As we all strive for this solution, we do not believe it is a fair or humane decision to withhold access to a sanitary latrine from a family until the fecal sludge challenge is solved. These pit latrines last 5-8 years and can save lives during that time. Who are we as a development community to deprive our rural customers of that opportunity? iDE Cambodia was established in 1994 and has been active in the country ever since. We are not an organization that parachutes in for one project and leaves. Thus we are actively working on a proper fecal sludge solution, and keeping our eye on the sector, because we too are anxious to close the loop.

There is also a lot of discussion about the lime project we are working on. Let me explain - this is a pilot project. We are testing an idea that has shown some potential to be feasible. The amount of lime applied, the application process, if it will actually work, etc. are all still to be determined. As an implementer, it is important to test ideas and innovations to assess their feasibility and market potential. Of course there are challenges and failures, but some also succeed and others inspire ideas that lead to breakthroughs later on.

The most important element of iDE's achievement is that we have helped to catalyze a rural sanitation market in Cambodia. This means that there is actually demand for hygienic sanitation among rural households and there are actually businesses profitably serving this demand. This is laying the foundation that iDE and others can build on. New latrine designs can potentially move through these supply chains, fecal sludge businesses will have customers when the technology is ready, and most importantly the communities are now demanding improved sanitation solutions instead of being complacent with unhealthy alternatives. The market has started working and is serving rural households, that is something everyone involved can be proud of.

Lastly - SuSanA should be a forum where everyone that cares about WASH can share knowledge, experiences, and ideas to move the sector forward. We are all working towards solving the same problem and I urge people to remember that. If you have suggestions, feedback, caution, or complaints - that is fine and we would love to hear them. I simply urge you to keep your eye focused on the prize - helping people without WASH get access to WASH - and strive towards working together to solve the problem vs. working against each other for some reason.

If anybody would like more information or wants to discuss this further feel free to contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Best,
Blake Mckinlay
iDE Global WASH Knowledge Manager
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Re: Press Release and infographic: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years - and the power of sanitation marketing 27 Jun 2014 07:32 #9106

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BlakeMcK wrote:
There was concern regarding how many of the 100,000 latrines can be attributed to iDE. I can assure you we have very strong M&E systems that can directly attribute all of those latrine sales to businesses that iDE engaged, trained, and supported. In fact, we also see a very strong ripple effect - Businesses that did not work with iDE in any way are selling the same (or slightly modified) versions of the latrine through the same business model to additional customers. The latrine sales made by these businesses that did not work with iDE were not counted in our 100,000 sales - so actually the catalytic impact of the market is far greater than the 100,000 sales we mentioned. Please contact me directly if you would like more 'proof' of these sales.


No doubt that there are figures to back up that claim, but at least as far as my comments are concerned I was rather musing on the fact that such figures are misleading without a "control". However this is of course not really possible to have in such cases.
Basically what I wonder is how many of those latrines would have been constructed by entrepreneurs anyway. iDE for sure had a role to play in easing market adoption of a good standard design and maybe an increase in overall quality of work done. Given that they are at it for so long they might have even had a role in getting things rolling.
But with the dynamic growth and peoples' adoption of "modern" lifestyles which you can see all over south east Asia these days, most if not all of these latrines would have been constructed one way or another.
It is thus a bit questionable if a NGO like iDE should report such figures like a company directly producing/building those latrines could.
Krischan Makowka
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Last Edit: 27 Jun 2014 07:37 by JKMakowka.

Re: Press Release and infographic: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years - and the power of sanitation marketing 27 Jun 2014 15:24 #9129

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JKMakowka

There are so many assumptions in your point "most if not all of these latrines would have been constructed anyway." What are you basing that statement on? Those sort of statements that are not backed up by fact are dangerous. You are basically saying that people would buy latrines anyway regardless of if there was an intervention or not just because the country is becoming more modern. Its always easy to make a 'what if' argument as you don't need proof. If we look at another country that is modernizing, India, we see the biggest sanitation problem in the world despite the desired to be modern....

Additionally, a key factor is that even if modernization directly lead to demand for latrines (which it doesn't), the question is what latrines would they buy? Would they be hygienic? Would they be affordable and effective?

I agree that the country is modernizing and people want new things. The reality if you work on the ground is they want cell phones, tvs, etc. Getting sanitation to be a purchase priority is the challenge and one that we are making progress on.

We have data showing significant coverage increase in each region we worked after our efforts began, we have data showing sales increasing consistently after our work began, and we have other similar countries without the same demand for sanitation or increase in sanitation coverage. I really don't know what else you could ask for.

Most importantly, due to the hard work of lots of people (including the customers and local businesses) and many organizations, Cambodia is making progress in coverage of hygienic sanitation and hundreds of thousands of people have already benefited with many more to come. That is what us on the ground all want, right?
Best,
Blake Mckinlay
iDE Global WASH Knowledge Manager
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Re: Press Release: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years - and lime treatment of faecal sludge 27 Jun 2014 20:28 #9145

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Sorry if I sounded like attacking your work Blake (& Joe, thanks for defending me ).

I am quite sure that iDE is doing great work in Cambodia, and I actually also think it is good that they share early results from pilots with others.

The only thing I am not so happy about is iDE's PR, which boils down to "shouting" numbers that tell us little and are besides the point (as long as you are still counting, you haven't reached your goal of self-replicating uptake ).

Ah well, maybe I am just a bit sour about the "numbers fetish" in the development sector, which I am starting to believe is often counter-productive and reeks of the psychological effect that when you are not convinced of your work yourself you try even harder to "objectively" prove its value. Note however that I don't want to imply this is the case with iDE, it is just a general observation.
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Re: Use of lime for faecal sludge treatment? (pilot project by iDE in Cambodia and other examples) 28 Jun 2014 02:49 #9147

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(this post also relates to this thread:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...a-and-other-examples)


Dear Blake and Joe,

I really would like to thank you Blake for your openness to discuss the subject. I also would like to ask Joe not to be so aggressive, although I agree on the subject, I think we have to appreciate a lot that this discussion came up.

I strongly believe that really there is no good solution for the fecal material management in rural areas with latrines. But I guess your conclusion is wrong. If there is no solution, it is not right to say we do it – even though we know the fecal material might end up in nature - as it gives a better life for families. In my understanding this is the same as doing a sewer without treatment – the problem of sanitation is just transferred to another place.

I really do not understand why UDDT are not an option. In this case the most simple treatment has the potential for an adequate sanitation chain.

Regards
Christoph
Last Edit: 28 Jun 2014 16:02 by muench.

Re: Press Release and infographic: iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 latrine sales in 2 years - and the power of sanitation marketing 01 Jul 2014 22:15 #9181

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Linked to my related thread about the lime use (see forum.susana.org/forum/categories/53-fae...12&start=24#9180), I would like to voice my doubts about the sustainability of the 100,000 latrine project in Cambodia, because it concerns more than the use of lime or the incomplete sanitation chain for more than 1/2 Million people.

Since many years there are programs in Peru called “latrinization”, in result families already may have 2 or 3 Pit- and VIP-Latrines. However, after short time people refuse to use their latrines, because they believe that the use leads to sickness and that people who use it may have a strange preference for odor and flies. How sanitary education can be successful with Pit Latrines?

We noticed for instance that these bad experiences established strong skepticism about other "dry solutions" such as UD-Toilets. It is not easy to convince these people about the benefits of the “small (UD) difference”: no smell, no flies, integration in a true bathroom with shower, the fecal material is removable and THIS management IS affordable for private user.

I am wondering what is still the argument to mention latrinization in sustainable sanitation context? It is NOT an attack, I recognize your commitment but I am asking myself all the time when I hear about latrine projects and now I just see the opportunity to ask this question in public.

Heike
Last Edit: 02 Jul 2014 08:37 by muench.
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Re: Use of lime for faecal sludge treatment? (pilot project by iDE in Cambodia and other examples) 02 Jul 2014 21:38 #9193

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Hi Christoph,

Thanks for your note and comments. I really am open to discussing this subject as I agree its a very big concern.

I hear your point about the lack of options for fecal management in rural areas, and I strongly agree that this is the big unknown in rural sanitation. I also understand your concern that the waste might end up somewhere else in nature and that this is not achieving our goals.

I guess my personal opinion is just that in the short term it is still beneficial to enable households to purchase an off-set pour flush pit latrine as (i) these latrines do contain the waste for 5-8 years until the pits fill up, (ii) households do realize health and financial benefits from having these latrines, (iii) it is part of a long behavior change process of getting people to care about using improved sanitation, and (iv) it establishes the supply chain for sanitation products to reach rural areas that improved latrine options can use if/when they are developed. So it seems like it is laying an important foundation that we can build upon going forward. Although it is not close to the ideal solution, the latrines are designed to switch to a second pit when the first fills up, so you can keep that waste from entering the environment (for a period of time I admit).

In the long term - iDE's thinking is more around how to develop profitable business models (profitable for local entrepreneurs, not iDE), around pit emptying and waste removal in rural areas. Currently the issue is that we have not found (in Cambodia) a facility/business that can turn the waste into something valuable (monetarily) at scale. Without that revenue stream, we are having trouble finding ways for the pit emptying value chain to be feasible. So, we are actively watching the sector for examples of waste reuse at scale that we might be able to learn from and consider implementing in Cambodia, as this might be what we need to develop profitable pit emptying businesses.

Regarding UDDT - the reason we do not pursue them in Cambodia is because we focus all our sanitation efforts around the users (rural households) needs, wants, and desires. We have a lot of staff on the ground and do a very in-depth consumer/market research process using the human-centered design (HCD) approach to ensure we truly understand the users. Nothing to date has indicated that they want a UDDT option, or are even comfortable with that idea. Since we take a market-based approach, and the customers must purchase any sanitation product from a local business, we have to be sure what we offer is actually demanded by the customer. Perhaps some behaviour change could take place around UDDT, but we have not explored that yet honestly.

Happy to keep the discussion going and hope this was helpful.
Best,
Blake Mckinlay
iDE Global WASH Knowledge Manager
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