Hygienic sanitation facilities are vital for public health. Over the past thirty years, the number of people gaining access to improved sanitation has risen from 54% to 68%, but some 2.3 billion people still lack access to toilets or improved latrines. In 2010, the UN recognized access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right.
Toilets are essential for hygiene and sanitation maintenance significantly contributes to overall health. Having a toilet at a school means providing a safe place for women and girls who are menstruating, which in turn promotes dignity, boosts safety and encourages school attendance. It means a reduction in health risks like diarrhea, intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma, which causes suffering for millions. But there are some remote areas in the world where families have never had a toilet in their lives.
Toilets for People (TfP) grew out of a need for a toilet solution where other solutions don’t work. The company works with NGOs in international development and disaster relief that are in need of a toilet solution for locations where the pit latrines, flush toilets and chemical port-a-potties fail.
Where building toilets can take weeks to install, TfP’s toilets are easily assembled, transportable and readily deployable. This has made them usable in some of the most remote places, including informal settlements in the Peruvian jungle.
Case study: Belen
In Belen, a Peruvian town of 65,000 people, TfP partnered with Amazon Promise, an NGO that provides medical services to residents of remote villages in the Amazon rainforest and informal urban settlements.
TfP installed 5 waterless toilets, urinals and female urination fixtures and hand washing stations at residential dwellings. The project also included training of Amazon Promise staff on toilet construction as well as employment of labor and materials sourced locally.
TfP’s small-scale projects aim to familiarize their NGO partners and toilet users with TfP’s waterless toilets, which use a spinning drum composting toilet technology. Successful pilot projects are then scaled up.
Training NGO staff, providing capacity building to community members and constructing and installing bathrooms using local materials and labor, ensures a holistic and lasting sanitation solution. This locally-driven approach is cost-effective, adaptive to site-specific needs, scalable and appropriate for relief, recovery and long term development.
In addition to working in Peru, TfP performs composting toilet training and installations in Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua and Senegal. Toilets for People, in partnership with non-profit organizations, works hard to achieve sanitation goals for long-term development, disaster relief and recovery.