Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

  • mchalej
  • mchalej's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 26

Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Today I would like to tell you a bit about a sanitation grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that I am leading here at American Standard Brands.

The title of the grant is:

Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - Development of affordable, aspirational latrine products for markets in Sub-Saharan Africa

• Name of lead organization: American Standard Brands
• Primary contact at lead organization: Jim McHale
• Grantee location: Piscataway, New Jersey, USA
• Developing country where the research is being or will be tested: Kenya, Zambia, Uganda
• Start and end date: July 2013 – December 2015
• Grant type: Other (i.e. not. Global Challenges Explorations, Reinvent the Toilet Challenge)
• Grant size in USD: $277,749

Short description of the project:
In early 2013, American Standard launched the SaTo® latrine pan in Bangladesh: a simple, plastic, pour-flush pan that provides an air-tight seal, keeping odors in and insects out of the pit. The scarcity of water and relative expense of concrete limits the application of the SaTo® pan across many areas of rural Sub-Saharan Africa, and a new product concept that better meets these specific market needs would have greater acceptance and impact. Advanced design / product development methodologies and tools will be used to gain a deep understanding of the market needs and create an affordable yet aspirational product concept. The concept or concepts will be evaluated through focus groups and field trials, and the most promising candidate or candidates will be considered for commercialization.
At the recent Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, American Standard engineers Jim McHale, Ph.D. and Daigo Ishiyama shared the company's innovations for providing affordable, aspirational sanitation products for residents of developing countries.
The mechanical and water seals created by this trap-door style SaTo hygienic toilet pan have improved the quality of life for residents of Bangladesh by keeping flies and insects out, in addition to reducing the unpleasant sights and smells, of open pit latrines.

Goal(s): Commercialization of one or more products that facilitate the construction of hygienic rural latrines.

Objectives: Commercialization of one or more products that facilitate the construction of hygienic rural latrines.

Research or implementation partners: Water for People, iDE - Zambia, UNICEF- Kenya

Links, further readings – results to date:

For information on the SaTo latrine pan see:

Press release:
www.americanstandard-us.com/companyinfo/pressroom.aspx?id=856

Blog:
blog.americanstandard-us.com/innovation-...ory-page/?catposts=y



www.popsci.com/bown/2013/product/american-standard-sato

www.rdmag.com/award-winners/2014/08/sanitation-third-world

www.fastcoexist.com/3029975/a-simple-yet...-150-sanitation-idea

www.msnbc.com/craig-melvin/watch/prevent...untries-265238083550

Current state of affairs: Multiple concepts developed and samples being prepared for field trials

Biggest successes so far: N/A

Main challenges / frustration:
Observed design challenges in Kenya and Zambia relative to Bangladesh: (1) Little to no manufactured materials are used in rural, residential latrine construction. Product must be capable of mating with irregularly shaped holes. (2) Water is available but scarce and costly. Product must require less than 100ml per use and preferably requires no water for use. (3) Manufacturing plastic parts is possible, but cost is relatively high compared to other areas. (4) Squatting position is common and preferred, but a toilet on which one can sit would not be rejected and could be perceived as more aspirational. Feedback is inconsistent.

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to ask here on the forum.

Jim

Jim McHale
VP – Research, Development, & Engineering

American Standard Brands
865 Centennial Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854

www.americanstandard-us.com/
The following user(s) like this post: Alfonso
You need to login to reply
  • canaday
  • canaday's Avatar
  • Long-term forum user
  • A biologist working toward sustainability
  • Posts: 337
  • Karma: 18
  • Likes received: 130

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Dear Jim,

Congrats on the very affordable $1.50 price tag mentioned on your Popsci link, for this pour-flush squat pan.

Questions and comments:
<> What does SaTo mean?
<> What sort of plastic is it made of? (HDPE? Polypropylene?)
<> Have you tested how many flushes the trap-door mechanism can withstand?
<> How susceptible is it to vandalism?
<> Could this be marketed with sustainable ways to treat the excrement, such as Stephen Mecca's treatment ?
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/106-us...na?limit=12&start=12
or with tiger worms or Black Soldier Fly Larvae ?
<> In places with dry, absorbant, non-floodable soils, with dispersed settlement, this could potentially be marketed as a ready-to-go ArborLoo, emptying into one and another shallow hole, where trees later get planted.
<> Could this same know-how and fine design be applied to more sustainable and ecological waterless options, such as the UDDT? Does American Standard offer anything like a UDDT?

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
You need to login to reply
  • FranzH
  • FranzH's Avatar
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 4
  • Likes received: 0

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

I have seen this in Delhi and find it the most cost effective innovation for pit latrines ever!
I allows you to convert a stinky place into a really IMPROVED facility at a very affordable cost.
Was also surprised that in Kampala this is not only applied by Water for People (the official partner) but other NGOs as well!
So in my view it is being understood and picked up quickly, a product that does not need subsidies!

I fully agree that it combines perfectly with the BioFil approach.
Maybe the developers should also make that into a low cost industrial product?

Some of the observed difficulties were to be expected ....

FH
You need to login to reply
  • JKMakowka
  • JKMakowka's Avatar
  • Long-term forum user
  • Just call me Kris :)
  • Posts: 804
  • Karma: 34
  • Likes received: 245

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

I have also seen this with Water For People here in Uganda, and it is a great innovation. However it isn't really all that different from slabs with an simple water-seal that have been well established for decades. The main difference I see is that this is something you can put up on sale in shops and thus get people to think about improving their pit-latrine while buying other stuff.

Concerning the new system specifically for Africa... I would recommend to more clearly define your potential customers: Africa is huge and there are big differences in what is appropriate for various different population groups and geographic regions. Bangladesh is maybe a too simple case compared to that (lots of water everywhere and almost completely Muslim... very densely populated too).

My suggestion is to concentrate on the peri-urban lower middle-class, especially those that do own a little land so that they are willing to invest in sanitation infrastructure (most other don't and landlords mostly don't bother either).

Krischan Makowka
Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
You need to login to reply
  • Alfonso
  • Alfonso's Avatar
  • Regular forum user
  • WASH technical advisor at ONGAWA
  • Posts: 7
  • Likes received: 0

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Congratulations Jim!

We are currently working on Sanitation Marketing component within the framework of a basic sanitation programme/campaign in Tanzania and it looks it may solve some challenges we have encountered when looking for affordable and hygienic latrine solutions.

Please keep us updated.

Thanks.


Alfonso
You need to login to reply
  • mchalej
  • mchalej's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 26

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Chris,

Thanks for your comments and please accept my appologies for the delayed response. See answers below:

- SaTo stands for Safe Toilet
- It's made of polypropylene
- We've tested several samples to more than 500,000 cycles without any sign of failure
- Once installed it is nearly impossible to remove or damage the door. The angle at which it can be attacked does not allow very direct application of force to the hinge.
- Yes. I believe it could be coupled with sustainable ways to treat the excrement. Walter Gibson was evaluating it with his tiger worm system.
- We are not currently exploring waterless options or UDDT, but are developing alternative versions of the approach for lower water use areas.
You need to login to reply
  • mchalej
  • mchalej's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 26

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Thanks for the comments Krischan. I agree that Africa is too large and divers to consider as a single market. We're speaking of it in that manner for simplicity, but certainly not really thinking it. In fact, we've already migrated towards development of several related concepts as opposed to one.

Also agree with the target being peri-urban (and rural) customers with some land.
You need to login to reply
  • mchalej
  • mchalej's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 26

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Thanks for the comments, Franz. We're focusing product development on the user interface in the short term, but I definately agreee that there are producet opportunities in the underground structure as well.
You need to login to reply
  • fausto
  • fausto's Avatar
  • Regular forum user
  • Circular Systems Designer
  • Posts: 3
  • Likes received: 1

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Hi Jim,

How much water is needed to flush the toilet at the moment?

Thanks
Fausto
You need to login to reply
  • mchalej
  • mchalej's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 26

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Thanks for your interest, Fausto.

The version commercialized in Bangladesh was designed to flush with about 500ml, which is about half of the content in the most commonly used bodnas.

We have a new version being launched with Cresstanks in Uganda that can be flushed with 250ml or less.

Product brochure is attached.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

The following user(s) like this post: canaday, JKMakowka, hajo, fausto
You need to login to reply
  • Alfonso
  • Alfonso's Avatar
  • Regular forum user
  • WASH technical advisor at ONGAWA
  • Posts: 7
  • Likes received: 0

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Thank you very much for the information Jim.

As long as we are currently involved in small WASH projects in Tanzania, I would like to check the possibility of testing the one being launched with Cresstanks in Uganda. It could be really interesting. Do you know how could I proceed?.

Thank you.
You need to login to reply
  • fausto
  • fausto's Avatar
  • Regular forum user
  • Circular Systems Designer
  • Posts: 3
  • Likes received: 1

Re: Sanitation Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa - affordable, aspirational latrine products, SaTo (American Standard Brands, USA and Water for People)

Thanks for sharing Jim.

Looking forward to seeing the 250ml version.

Fausto
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Time to create page: 0.535 seconds