moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

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  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

As an Industrial designer I worked with GIZ Bangladesh, Alexander Jachnow and Ashley Wheaton on a new sanitation solution for urban slums in Bangladesh.

This topic caught all my attention, so I decided to write my Industrial Design bachelor report about the development of a mobile non-infrastructure-based separation toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh.

Here you can read the complete report in german:
issuu.com/monami/docs/mosan?mode=embed

To start this new topic, many thanks for the positive feedback.
Currently we are planning the production of a small-scale series of prototypes and the next trial in different slums in Mymensingh, Bangladesh.
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
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  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

I was asked the following questions:

> how will the toilet pot be sold or rented?
The idea is to rent the toilet per household or family. Since the toilet is part of a sustainable sanitation system, we need to register all toilets and users. A service fee is necessary for the house-to-house collection and the transport system.


> how much will one toilet or the rent cost?
The price for one pot is difficult to estimate at this project stage. It depends on the way of production, place of production and the produced amounts.
The next step is the production of hand-laminated prototypes from jute-fibres-reinforced plastic in Bangladesh.
This will give us a better idea of the production price.
The service model (collection, transport, maintenance) has its price. The recycling of the collected urine and feaces will be sold as fertilizer and the money will be used to finance the system.

The use of jute supports the economy in Bangladesh and the sanitation business gives job opportunities for slum dwellers.

In general, I avoided high-tech materials and complicated production processes. We want to keep it as simple as possible to get a cheap solution which is affordable for most people.


> how do you avoid smell from the toilet?
We solve the problem on different steps. First the toilet has a tight lid. Second; after each defecation the user needs to cover the feaces with dry ash from a cooking stove. The ash changes the pH-level and kills pathogens. The ash also seals the surface and avoids smell and flies.
Urin is collected in a bottle-like-container. The small opening avoids evaporation and smell.
In addition a valve for the urine part is possible. Cheap solutions made with a small ball already exist.
Third; the toilet is emptied every 24 hours.

In May we tested two prototypes I built from existing materials. We were surprised about the little/no smell. One family stored the toilet during night under the family bed and recognized no smell.
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  • christoph
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

Apparently a very nice work. I tried to have a look at the German version. I was not able to read as the printing in 100% was very weak. Would it be possible to sand me a pdf?

Yours
Christoph
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

Dear Mona,
Thanks a lot for making this posting! As I already mentioned on the SuSanA facebook page ( www.facebook.com/susana.org ), I am absolutely in awe of the beauty of your report and the beauty of your proposed urine diversion toilet pot!! I don't know if all industrial designers can produce such things but am just so glad that this particular industrial designer has turned her attention to this important subject matter! :woohoo:

The only downside of the beautiful report is that it is 15 MB large and that it is in German... Luckily the pictures speak for themselves so also non-German speakers will get a lot out of it. (and Mona is working on a summarised English version of this report).

To make it better accessible, we have reduced the picture quality a bit, bringing it down to 6 MB. We have also broken it into 2 parts for those who cannot handle 6 MB, see here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1237

My favourite pages, because they show the final product so nicely, are on pages 65-70, i.e. in Part 2.

Please let me know if this file size is manageable like this. If not, we can break it down further if need be.

Mona: can you please repeat here what you told me about the fact that people who are used to squatting indicated that they would be happy to sit on this toilet? Thanks!
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  • snig
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  • Amin
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

How this mobile toilet dis-sludge. I know one dis-sludging center in Pagla (Narayanganj).

Can u say me is there is approval of City Corporation. Is it cost effective.

Where (what slum) this is operating?
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  • mwink
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

Dear Mona,

thanks for your posting. I really enjoyed your report and the pictures.
One question: can you report a bit on what's planned as follow-up of your thesis or is this still top secret?

And: If someone would like to use the form your developed, is this possible? What would be necessary to get it going?

Yours, Martina.
Research unit Water infrastructure and risk analyses
Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE)
Frankfurt, Germany

winker[AT]isoe.de
www.isoe.de
www.saniresch.de
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  • HSO1
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

Dear Mona,


Great work! Is this a locally manufactured product?


Kind regards

Guy Cawood
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  • christian.rieck
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

Dear Mona,

You have talked about the emptying of the toilets every 24 hours in order to keep the odour low. Thus the emptying service is crucial and must work 24/7, otherwise you will quickly loose customers. How will the emptying service be organised and how much will it cost for the people?

From experience e.g. of the peepoople there needs to be an initial subsidy to allow for affordable prices until competition, efficiany of services and maybe sale of fertiliser has reduced prices to market level. However this is theory and I do not know of any self-sustaining and well working sanitation services in low-income areas for household sanitation, except maybe public toilets. Is GIZ planning to provide those subsidies?

Cheers
Christian
GIZ Uganda
Enhanced Water Security and Sanitation (ENWASS)
Sanitation for Millions
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  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

>"How does the mobile toilet dis-sludge?"
The toilet will be emptied manually by a collector. Since ash is used to cover the feaces and urine is collected separately, the emptying is easy. No pump is required or other technical instruments.
If the feaces go better to a composting site or a biogas plant, needs to be tested. From our research we prefer composting (to get rich fertilizer), but the transport to a feasible site could be too costly and time-consuming.
The feasibility needs to be tested in the next step.

> "Is there an approval of the City Corporation?"
We didn't discuss with the city cooperation in Mymensingh yet. But we already tested for 3days with an approval in May.

> "Where (what slum) is this operating?"
It is not operating yet. But the next testing will be again in Mymensingh at the "railway slum" and the slum next to the river bank.
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
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  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
  • Posts: 49
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

> "Is this a locally manufactured product?"
The toilet pot is not manufactured yet. But I was inspired by hand craft work and shapes from Bangladesh.
Everything is designed and planned that it will be produced and operated by locals. All materials are available.


>"... there needs to be an initial subsidy to allow affordable prices. Is GIZ planning to provide those subsidies?"
We are currently looking for donors, but if GIZ will subsidize I don't know. I guess it depends on the trial results and if we find donors and project partners.
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
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  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

@ Christoph, did you use this download?
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1237

End of October I will upload a pdf with english information.
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  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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Re: moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh

Dear everyone,

end of October I had the chance to meet the Ecosan team in Eschborn to present the mobile toilet pot.
Many thanks for having me.

For everyone else, please find the english presentation (split into two parts) and an english overview about MoSan here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1313

Im happy to answer your questions.

Mona Mijthab
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
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