A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

  • yokepean
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A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Dear forum members,

My name is Yoke Pean Thye. I am PhD student at the Environmental Engineering Department in the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia. I am writing to introduce my research and let you know about some of the work I have been doing.

The aim of my research is to understand current practices and constraints developing products for emergency excreta disposal, and subsequently propose a tool or strategy to support innovation in the sector.

To achieve this I am currently conducting interviews with a range of stakeholders from the customer (e.g. aid agencies) and product developer (e.g. suppliers, designers) perspective. I am also running a survey which I will post on the forum shortly.

Some other work I'm involved in include field research from the volcano eruption in Sinabung, Indonesia ( photos here ).

The research is part of the project on "Stimulating local innovation on sanitation for the urban poor in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia" that is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through UNESCO-IHE (see here on the forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/97-ena...n-africa-and-se-asia ).

I'll keep this forum updated on the results of my research and I would be happy to hear from anyone who has thoughts on this subject.

Best regards
Yoke

Yoke Pean Thye | PhD Candidate | Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia)
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  • canaday
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Hi Yoke,

Welcome to the Forum.

Do you think this design for a Cost-free Minimalist Urine-diverting Dry Toilet (UDDT) might be useful in emergencies or for the poor in Indonesia?
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-free-...ist-uddt-part-1.html

We look forward to seeing your results.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • yokepean
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Hi Chris,

Thanks!

I think it would be difficult because most Indonesians must use water, except perhaps in certain regions where it is very dry. Also, I'm not sure that Indonesians would see much benefit in using the UDDT over open defecation, which would be much more convenient.

However, I should note that I'm not Indonesian so I might not be the most qualified person to answer this question.

Best wishes
Yoke

Yoke Pean Thye | PhD Candidate | Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia)
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  • muench
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Dear Yoke,

What did you mean by:

most Indonesians must use water

--> did you mean water for anal cleansing or did you mean "they must flush away the faeces", i.e. they "must" always use a pour flush toilet?

If you meant they have to use water for anal cleansing, then this is not a deterrent for UDDTs. We have discussed this here on the forum for example:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/141-ot...nique-situation#6668

If you mean that they "must flush" then you might be interested in checking out this thread about the situation in Cambodia where some people have asked if UDDTs could be an option in order to simplify the faecal sludge mangement system:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/142-up...mit=12&start=12#9220

Also it could be interesting to read in this thread about UDDTs in Bangladesh which has some similarities to Indonesia - ample water available, Muslim population. I think one selling point for UDDTs there is that they are more suitable for flood-prone areas.
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/34-uri...-uddts-in-bangladesh

What did you mean by:

I'm not sure that Indonesians would see much benefit in using the UDDT over open defecation

Surely they would see that there is a significant difference as the UDDT would be a safe form of containment of the faeces, and even treatment for reuse?

It's actually great that we hear a bit about the situation in Indonesia from you. We haven't had much on Indonesia on the forum yet!
Which country are you from if it's not Indonesia?

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Hi Yoke,

When excrement is mixed in water, the volume of dangerous material keeps getting bigger, whereas with a UDDT the danger is contained and its volume gets progressively smaller.

I invite you to read this interview about the downfalls of flush toilets:
www.chekhovskalashnikov.com/water-sanitation/
... and this one about the advantages of UDDTs:
www.chekhovskalashnikov.com/human-waste-disposal/

Among the advantages of the UDDT is that they can be close to people's homes, thus improving privacy, ease and dignity, compared to Open Defecation. They also eliminate the need for piped water, which can be especially important in an emergency.

Good luck with your study.

Best wishes,
Chris

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • yokepean
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Dear Elisabeth,

Thanks for your thought-provoking questions!

When I said "Indonesians must use water", I was referring to anal cleansing. However, pour-flush toilets are the norm in Indonesia so I am unsure whether users would be willing to change their behavior.

There has been some research on the acceptability of dry toilets:
http://www.scj.go.jp/en/sca/activities/conferences/conf_7_projects/pdf/7th_nenijovi.pdf

But I am not aware of any real attempts to implement UDDTs in communities here, so we don't really know whether it would be successful. Certainly I think that it is possible, but more research is needed.

With regard to the benefit of UDDTs over open defecation, problems include convincing users that open defecation is unsafe and that it is okay to handle fertilizer that originates from faeces. Community-led total sanitation is implemented by the Health Department but I don't know how successful it really is.

This write-up by the WSP on the factors associated with achieving open defecation free communities in East Java in Indonesia may be useful:
http://www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/WSP-Factors-Achieving-ODF-East-Java.pdf

I'm actually from Singapore but have been in Indonesia for two years. I also did a few projects in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar prior to starting my PhD.

Best regards
Yoke

Yoke Pean Thye | PhD Candidate | Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia)
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  • yokepean
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Hi Chris,

I think the use of water is a key factor here. My colleague interviewed some people at evacuation camps who would rather wait to go to the toilet than to defecate without using water. Unfortunately it would be difficult to change such behavior in emergency situations.

Best wishes
Yoke

Yoke Pean Thye | PhD Candidate | Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia)
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Dear Yoke,

The document you linked to about dry toilets in Indonesia was not so negative (7th_nenijovi.pdf). The last slide sums it up:
"By asking respondents for the comfort of BT in compare with normal existed toilet, 31% said BT better then the existed toilet, and only 16% said in contrary. About 50% of respondent said both model was accepted.
After using the BT, 95% respondents agreed to use BT."

One of the main points is that this study was not looking at conventional UDDTs, but rather a "BioToilet", which seems to be a large box full of coconut fiber dust with an Archimedes Screw to stir it.
drrajivdesaimd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/bio-toilet.png

Do you (or anyone) have more info on this Bio-Toilet, its costs and results?

In any case, we need to figure out how to best achieve changes in people's preferences and behaviours. This depends on setting an example and then publicizing it. With the predominance of Islam in Indonesia, I think it would be key to convince religious leaders to set this example. (Mughal may likely have excellent suggestions on this.)

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Hi Yokeapean ....

In emergency situation learn from some of disaster in Indonesia most of Indonesian people still need water for anal cleansing because not familiar with the toilets paper. But for flushing the toilet they accepted to use others like dust or sand.

Untill now Indonesia Government has been done with the ODF the targets goal was reached and now Government and private sector start for the universal access

Enny
Indonesia Toilet Association
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  • yokepean
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Re: A product development framework for emergency excreta disposal (PhD research)

Hi Enny,

Thank you for your reply. It is interesting that people have accepted using dust and sand. Do you have more data about it?

Best regards
Yoke

Yoke Pean Thye | PhD Candidate | Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia)
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