A transportable dry toilet and ecological sanitation service for densely populated settlements.
Mosan is a circular sanitation system, which includes a urine-diverting dry toilet for in-home use. The toilet separates urine and feces into removable containers. Users bring their full containers to service stations, where Mosan staff ensures safe emptying and cleaning.
This circular sanitation service consists of 5 key steps: (1) Containment, (2) Emptying, (3) Transport, (4) Treatment/transformation, & (5) Reuse. The solution was designed to improve people’s health, protect the environment and water sources, reduce CO2 emissions transforming human excreta into resources while creating local job opportunities. All Mosan products have been designed in collaboration with local communities and stakeholders.
Mosan started in 2010 when the designer Mona Mijthab worked with GIZ in Bangladesh. Currently the sanitation service is being implemented in Guatemala at Lake Atitlán.
The Mosan Toilet is part of the Mosan Sanitation Service that is implemented with local partners. Mosan produces the toilet themselves.
The Mosan service is sold to municipalities and organizations, which pay for hardware and implementation costs. The users themselves pay a monthly service fee (e.g. starting from USD 5 a month) and a deposit of 3 monthly fees.Interview with representative
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Currently manufactured by vacuum forming PE plastics in Germany and shipped to target regions.Interview with representative
Design protection and utility modelInterview with representative
Mosan does direct marketing to municipalities and users. During promotion events users can sign up for the Mosan service. House visits for the registration and implementation follow.Interview with representative
Mosan has reached more than 50 users during pilot projects. The first users started using the Mosan toilet in 2012 in Kenya. The toilets are still in use. In 2019 one Mosan service is running in Guatemala in Santa Catarina Palopó.
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
Mosan is a circular sanitation system, including the Mosan Dry Toilet for in-home use. All Mosan products have been designed in co-creation with affected people and stakeholders.
The circular sanitation service consists of 5 key steps:
Containment: The Mosan Toilet has two removable containers, one for urine and one for feces. Each has a 9L capacity. With 5 family members the toilet can be used for 2-3 days. For larger families extra containers can be provided. Ease of use, durability, low maintenance and an aspirational design are important aspects. Key functions are:
- Ergonomic and elegant design
- Clean separation of urine and feces into removable containers
- Durable HDPE plastics, expected lifetime more than 5 years
- Feces are covered with dry materials (e.g. ash or sawdust) to prevent smell and flies
Emptying: Twice a week families bring their toilet containers to service stations (or service trucks), where Mosan staff empties the materials into bigger barrels and disinfects the toilet containers.
Transport: Mosan staff takes care of the transport from collection stations to the transformation center.
Treatment/Transformation: Urine and feces are separately processed and transformed into valuable products that can be reintroduced to the local and international market.
Reuse: transformed excreta can be used as e.g. as a soil amendment, fertilizer, soil detoxification, or as fuel.
Provided by the manufacturer
Mosan takes care of replacement and recycling of toilets and components.
The expected lifespan of the toilet is minimum 5 years.Interview with representative
Safe sealing of containers and safe handling and treatment of feces
WSUP, GIZ, and Oxfam.Interview with representative
All of the service staff need to wear safety equipment and follow a strict risk sanitation safety plan. Regular capacity building and hygiene training is conducted.
People cover feces with sawdust or ash. Containers are lined with paper to make emptying and cleaning for Mosan staff easier.
Mosan offers hygiene education and awareness creation activities. Additionally users get access to low-cost health services in collaboration with local clinics.
Nyoka, R., et al., 2017, Sanitation practices and perceptions in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya: Comparing the status quo with a novel service-based approach, PLoS One., Vol. 7.
Water, Engineering, and Development Centre (WEDC), 2014, A collection of contemporary toilet designs, Loughborough University.
Mosan follows international WHO standards and received environmental permissions in Guatemala.Interview with representative
Pilot projects, interviews with users and stakeholders, lab tests of collected material before and after treatmentInterview with representative
Mosan collaborated with GIZ, OXFAM, WSUP, MIT IDIN, and USAID. Mosan was awarded with the German first prize of the Bestform Award 2013, the first prize of the German Hans-Sauer Social Design Award 2015. In 2016 selected as a UBS Social Innovator. In 2016 awarded with Swiss Social Entrepreneurship Award SEIF. In 2017 selected as “Solution that Saves Lives & Supports Development” by the Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF). In 2019 selected as one of the FORBES Top 10 Swiss Start-ups and Top 100 FAMAE Water innovators.
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