Potty Project provided a great deal of detail regarding issues around design that, if improved, could facilitate greater adoption rates of facilities by the communities they serve, and, consequently, reduce instances of open-defecation in these areas.
There will be two broad facility types:
Base Layer: facilities that will include only toilet stalls, menstrual waste incinerators, and handwashing stations.
Enhanced Layer: In addition to the base layer features, these facilities will also have bathing stalls, clothes-washing stations, and retail spaces.
The Project Sammaan facilities were designed by focusing on the needs of all users and not by following the standard model of creating symmetrical facilities that provide the same amenities to both males and females and prioritize only privacy and not utility. Additional, supplementary research was conducted to better understand the sanitation habits of children, elderly, the physically disabled, single adult males, and women with children.
The need to shift from the facilities being seen as merely “zones of filth” to that of hygienic and clean areas to conduct all sanitation-related activities (e.g., bathing, clothes-washing, defecating, etc.) required additional exploration as well. Specifically, much attention was paid to designing a structure that allowed for natural lighting and ventilation while increasing the ease in which it can be maintained.
The materials used to construct the facilities is another factor considered during the design phase. The intention is to capitalize on locally available materials as much as possible. This will help reduce costs, while also providing a resource that is reflective of the community that houses it.
Finally, the sewage systems for the facilities required a great deal of attention and conclusions on the direction to take in this regard are currently being finalized. Initially, the facilities were being designed to tie into an existing sewerage network. However, Bhubaneswar is not slated to expand their sewage system for another two years, while Cuttack lacks a centralized sewage system altogether.
Anagram Architects and Quicksand met with BMGF representatives and sewerage experts to discuss various treatment options and, considering the context, it was concluded that an improved septic tank with an improved soak pit would be the best option. It was also agreed that such a system should be designed on the basis of space availability and site conditions. We are compiling a package with site specific data (for the sites that are confirmed on the list across Cuttack and Bhubaneswar), in order to ensure treatment options are designed to cater to the realities of the sites.