An estimated 2.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation globally. If the current trend continues, by 2015 there will be 2.7 billion people without access to basic sanitation. Underlying issues that add to the challenge in many countries include a weak infrastructure, an inadequate human resource base and scarce resources to improve the situation. (WHO Statistics)
Arup has been working with the WTO hoping to assist in meeting the pressing sanitation need. The Sanishop Project has been the main avenue with which Arup has been channelling technical assistance to WTO.
SaniShop is a social franchise model whereby WTO provides a trusted sanitation brand free of charge to sanitation providers in developing countries. The SaniShop model also assists in driving down the cost of toilets to an economically competitive price, thereby creating a demand for a product that billions of people in developing economies desperately require. It is WTO’s hope that through proper training and education, usage of sanitation would become more entrenched in the community.
Phase 1 Success
Arup successfully concluded phase 1 of the Sanishop project in a partnership with the World Toilet Organisation (WTO) in April 2011. Nikki Shaw has worked extensively with WTO in Cambodia over the last year, while Daniel Lambert and Jason Nutter have travelled with WTO to Orissa, India to support their launch into the Indian market. The Sanishop project has now planted an estimated 1000 toilets throughout India since 2010. Arup’s scope for phase 1 of the project included:
- Analysing existing sanitation practices in local areas
- Investigating existing sanitation solutions
- Modifying or developing toilet designs that could be adopted in selected areas, focusing on affordability and capacity of local manufacturers and suppliers
- Providing recommendations for adapting toilets to other communities and environments
The water team has now gotten funding for phase 2 of the project, and we are looking forward to getting involved with this next stage of the sanitation revolution. WTO is hoping to introduce the Sanishop project to African continent in 2012, with Nigeria and Ghana being the 2 markets targeted. Arup will be supporting this effort with a Nigerian site visit planned for August. An Arup staff member will be accompanying WTO staff on the trip. Arup will be providing technical advice to WTO as they continually develop their African strategy.
We believe that Sanishop will prove to be as successful in Africa as it has been in Asia, and we are excited that Arup will be playing a significant part in this.
The water team has recently travelled to Vietnam, to the sites of concern along the Mekong Delta, to meet with the local villagers and the site itself to better understand the underlying issues first hand, and to begin the process of analysis.
The effects of the SaniShop project
The community: Sanishop has definitely been a catalyst in revolutionising sanitation for the local community and stakeholders involved. What is even more exciting is that the Sanishop model has been reproduced in a diverse range of regions. Entrepreneurs involved see the possibilities of bettering their community’s way of life, while also being able work in a wholesome job that meets their needs. This method of sanitation provision offers many benefits that the donor model does not. Hopefully, phase 2 of the project will allow us to bring
Arup: Getting involved with Sanishop has allowed Arup staff to gain valuable awareness to issues surrounding sanitation and poverty in developing countries. It has also given Arup a better understanding of implementing sustainable technologies in developing regions. With sustainable development of emerging economies high on the priorities list of the Australasian regional vision, projects such as these put us in good stead to meet our company’s objectives of the future.
Researching the best solutions
Arup is playing a key role in WTO’s pilot SaniShop programme in India, by studying existing sanitation practices, developing appropriate toilet designs according to local production capabilities, and recommending measures to adapt and integrate toilets into the local environments. To help us best understand how SaniShop could be implemented in the Indian context, our team visited Cambodia where the programme has been previously and successfully rolled out. Many factors like culture, religion, business practices and availability of local materials emerged as key considerations.
Thereafter, in India, we met with vendors, manufacturers and visited the area where the SaniShop would be implemented. Alongside WTO, we advised on various issues like the design of sanitation solutions, and materials to use. Training sessions on the installation of toilets were also held.
By this year, WTO hopes to establish 100 SaniShop programmes. At Arup, we are proud of our contribution towards making India cleaner and safer for its people.
The Sanishop Project Phase 2
Phase 2 of the SaniShop project involves the World Toilet Organisation (WTO), planting entrepreneurial hubs in India with the capability to provide sanitation hardware and services to the poor. It is hoped that through proper training and education, usage of sanitation will become more entrenched in the community. Traditional donor models have seen donated toilets abandoned due to the ignorance on the importance of hygiene and the lack of maintenance. Having completed Phase 1 of the Arup – WTO partnership, in which Arup Singapore’s Water engineering team provided technical advice for SaniShop India, Arup Singapore was awarded funding to continue with Phase 2 of the SaniShop Project and subsequently expanding the SaniShop model into Vietnam and Nigeria.
SaniShop is WTO’s social franchise model whereby local entrepreneurs and businesses are equipped to promote and sell sanitation solutions to establish a local sanitation marketplace. This helps to drive down the cost of toilets whilst creating demand for them and improving community health and prosperity in the process.
In September this year, Daniel Lambert and Nikki Shaw accompanied WTO and their country partners, Unilever, on a visit to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam - the next target area for the SaniShop rollout. The Mekong Delta has poor sanitation coverage and a high incidence of water and sanitation related illnesses. The area provides additional challenges as it is fairly waterlogged and floods annually. Following this visit, we have compiled a report and technical drawings containing our evaluation of the current situation, our assessment of WTO’s proposed toilet solutions, and recommendations for toilet construction and installation to minimise potential risks and maximise health benefits.
Benefits for Staff and the Community
This project has given the local community and partners involved a catalyst to take sanitation seriously. Partners of the project see the possibilities of bettering their community’s way of life, while also being able work in a wholesome job that meets their needs. This method of sanitation provision offers many benefits that the donor model does not.
Getting involved with Sanishop has allowed Arup’s project staff to gain an awareness of the scale of issues surrounding sanitation in developing countries. It has also given Arup a better understanding of implementing sustainable technologies in a developing country. With sustainable development of emerging economies high on the priorities list of the Australasian regional vision, projects such as these put us in good stead to meet our company’s objectives of the future.
WTO is hoping to introduce the Sanishop project to African continent in 2012, with Nigeria and Ghana being the 2 markets targeted. Arup will be supporting this effort with a Nigerian site visit planned for August.