Jeff Chapin with IDE Cambodia, Ministry of Rural Development, LienAid, and Rainwater Cambodia
The Easy Latrine is a Cambodian hygienic latrine option.
The Easy Latrine was designed in 2009 as the first packaged hygienic latrine product in Cambodia. It serves low-income households in rural communities that either do not currently have a latrine or want to upgrade to a hygienic latrine. Providing desirable, low-cost latrine products to the rural poor can have a significant health and monetary impact on some of the most vulnerable segments of society. Interview with representative
The Easy Latrine was designed in Cambodia for regional users in 7 provinces. Additionally, the Easy Latrine has been tailored to fit the needs of rural consumers in Nepal.Interview with representative
Local entrepreneurs and independent enterprises distribute the Easy Latrine.Interview with representative
In Cambodia, the MSRP for the Easy Latrine is 220,000 Riels ($55.00 USD), including installation ($7.50 – $10.00) and a sales agent commission ($5.00). Interview with representative
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
The target users for the Easy Latrine are poor, rural households that currently defecate in the open or use another unimproved sanitation source.Interview with representative
The Easy Latrine is produced by individual manufacturers (such as village masons) across the seven provinces in Cambodia and in 12 districts in the Terai region of Nepal. These manufacturers use a moveable steel ring mold and concrete to build three receptacles bound by the ash of rice husks — material that’s readily at hand and much cheaper than cement. Typically, manufacturers are able to produce 30 rings per day, which results in ten 3-ring latrine units per day. Interview with representative
Open Source Interview with representative
The Easy Latrine can be purchased through local retailers. iDE employs a unique version of sanitation marketing (SanMark) that sees people not as beneficiaries of development services but as potential customers investing in a good or service. This approach ensures that only those products that are desirable to consumers, feasible to produce in the local context, and viable to carry forward are made. iDE’s SanMark approach catalyzes market forces, satisfying demand for affordable and aspirational sanitation products and creating sustainable supply-side businesses that allow entrepreneurs to make a living selling sanitation products. No subsidies are offered, as these only serve to distort and depress market forces. Instead, the Easy Latrine is marketed at an affordable price point that allows customers to either purchase it outright or use loans to finance their purchase. Interview with representative
As of June 2015, 181,500 Easy Latrines have been sold in Cambodia and Nepal.Interview with representative
Type of toilet
Method of evacuation
How the fecal sludge is stored
The holding volume of the containment
Time until emptying is estimated to be needed
The Easy Latrine consists of a pan, a bucket of water with a ladle, and pipes to connect a hut to a latrine buried in the ground.The latrine itself has three receptacles made of rings of concrete bound by the ash of rice husks — material that’s readily at hand and much cheaper than cement. Once a receptacle is full, it can be capped, and after two years, the sediment can be used as compost.
Material specifications courtesy of the IDE follow: Dry Ring: Dia. 0.8m, Height 0.5m, Thickness 4cm 88Kg — The volume of each ring is 0.215 cubic meters. Ring Cover: Dia. 0.8m, Thickness 4cm 48 – 49kg Chamber Box (small) Size: L45cm, W30cm, H40cm, Th3cm 53kg Chamber Box (big) Size: 60cm square, H30cm, Th3cm 68kg Concrete Slab Size: 80cm square, Th4cm 38.5kg Tile Slab Size: 80cm square, Th4cm 41kg Ceramic Pan Size: 390mm x 490mm 3.5kg
iDE provides ongoing technical training to manufacturers. While not technical in nature, iDE’s SanMark approach works to bolster supply-side forces, including increasing the capacity of latrine business owners (LBOs) to market and sell their products. iDE provides ongoing training to interested businesses in sanitation and hygiene education, latrine production, and basic business and sales management. iDE also works with them to develop quarterly sales targets based on their production capacity and local demand.Interview with representative .
Replacement components for the Easy Latrine are available from local retailers.Interview with representative
iDE expects the Easy Latrine to last 5-10 years before it needs to be emptied depending on family size. Most families opt to install a second pit that uses the same above-ground components but has the underground pipes diverted to another pit. Interview with representative
Pits can be emptied after two years, as the waste becomes safe to compost at that time.Interview with representative
iDE’s regional technical staff conduct monthly quality checks. These staff members test and inspect randomly selected products to ensure they comply with quality control standards. The quality control process is divided into four separate steps: 1) technical training, 2) production place management, 3) product quality control, and 4) maintenance and organization of stock. These processes help ensure the highest quality standards for sanitation products from inception to delivery. Interview with representative
Safe handling of any waste material requires protective clothing.
A superstructure for privacy. iDE has recently finished prototyping an ‘Easy Shelter’, which they are aiming to introduce in January 2016.Interview with representative
iDE uses a combination of quantitative (monthly sales and manufacturing figures) and qualitative feedback from users, potential customers, and manufacturers to gather information to make improvements and modifications to their products and marketing systems. One way in which they have used this feedback to improve the product offering is by listening to customers’ request for a prefabricated shelter that would accompany underground components. iDE has recently finished prototyping an ‘Easy Shelter’, which they are aiming to introduce in January 2016.Interview with representative
The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Field Note, Sanitation Marketing Lessons from Cambodia: A Market-Based Approach to Delivering Sanitation, World Bank, (2012).
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