The Sago Dry Toilet Papua New Guinea

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Papua New Guinea (PNG) struggles to provide access to safe sanitation with only 13% of rural communities having access to “improved” sanitation facilities (CIA 2012). 13% of all deaths under 5 occur due to diarrhea and dysentery, attributable to poor sanitation (WHO 2008). Sago Network has developed the Sago Dry Toilet as a sanitation solution for flood affected and high water-table urban and rural communities. The Sago Dry Toilet is a permanent, waterless, above-ground system utilizing a dehydration process, and its transportable by small boat. The system separates human waste from the environment, avoids ground water contamination, eliminates fecal-oral transmission and reduces the spread of disease.The design has been researched and developed over the course of five years and was installed in communities on a project-by-project basis as a hand-crafted prototype. Sago Network collaborated with industrial designers and fabricators across Australia and PNG to convert the toilet prototype into a factory produced, rotationally molded, kit of plastic parts. The Sago Dry Toilet is now a mass-produced product, dramatically transforming its potential impact by offering a new sanitation solution to the market that is within reach of many communities and sanitation programs.

CATEGORY: Professional SETTING: Rural STATUS:On-going

BY: Sago Network

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Sago Network seeks to place communities at the center of their own development challenges by empowering people at all stages of a project. Throughout the Sago Dry Toilet program, community members are encouraged to determine their development priorities, actively participate in planning decisions, and collaborate during construction to build not only a toilet facility but also to foster sanitation awareness, project ownership, and the capacity for ongoing maintenance. The Sago Dry Toilet can be ordered as a complete prefabricated kit, or, for increased community engagement, a “Core Components” package can be provided in order to promote a building process to enable local labor and celebrate local craftmanship.

PARTNERS: Global Studio: Responsible for providing the philosophical framework for architecture activism; Healthabitat: Responsible for the practical framework for community engagement; The University of New South Wales, Australia: Responsible for research, development, and independent review of the prototype system; Various university students from Australia & PNG within the fields of architecture, engineering, construction, and community development.