Posted by: Wasrag | December 2, 2010

World Toilet Summit held in Pennsylvania Convention Centre, Philadelphia from November 1st to November 3rd 2010.

The 2010 World Toilet Summit was held this year in Philadelphia in conjunction with the American Society of Plumbing Engineers 2010 Convention and Engineered Plumbing Exposition.

The Summit commenced with the opening Session with a speech by ‘Toiletman”, Jack Sim who is the founder of the World Toilet Organisation.  Since 2001, Jack has advocated for better toilets and sanitation which has seen him involved in the launching of the German Toilet Association along with the Singapore Restroom Association (which has earned him numerous awards from his own country of Singapore) as well as the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), comprised of over 100 participating Organisations active in the field of Sanitation.

Jack spoke on the need to deliver basic sanitation to the 2.6 billion people who do not have access to this commodity and its dire consequences of over 5000 deaths per day from related consequential diseases such as diaharrea.  He emphasised the need to look to micro economic reform as a way of enticing poor people in Africa, Asia and South America to help them to take ownership of sanitary facilities which is acceptable to them rather than the older methods of charitable organisations and NGO’s constructing and imposing developed country unsustainable solutions.

In his paper “Sanitation Franchising for the BOP Market” (Bottom of the Pyramid) Jack spoke of the sanitation program being undertaken in the Kampong Speu Provence of Cambodia which involved   many family latrine producers using ‘donated’ basic construction equipment to cast concrete cylinder latrines for storing human waste along with squat toilet bases which are sold to ‘households’ for about $30.   Toilet shelters are built of natural materials by the householder or are alternatively purchased from more durable materials.  The next phase will include social franchising and the establishment of “sani shops” to market equipment and a wider range of associated products.

Other relevant papers from the Summit applicable to the development of sanitation solutions for people in developing countries that would assist Rotary’s Sanitation role included papers on the following topics:

Dr Imai Shigeo of Japanese toilet manufacturer INAX, whose work has included developing the Health Check Toilet involving anti bacterial products as well as research work into problems associated with sanitation systems for Vietnam.

Jukka Lindroos, Founder of Pikka Vihrea Ltd a Finnish company has over the last 30 years specialised in environmental and sanitation issues as well as the design and manufacture of dry toilet systems.  He has designed and worked on dry toilet systems for Macchu Picchu in Peru as well as for Finnish International Troops.  He is a past President of the Global Dry Toilet Association.  Kukka was assisted in his presentation by Albert Wiggenhauser a Natural Recourses Engineer also from Finland.

Tamara Baker from Canada has been heavily associated with the marketing of sanitation in the jointly funded USAID Cambodia MSME project and Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank Sanitation Marketing Pilot Program.  Though sanitation was never part of her master plan she is now a passionate champion for Sanitation Marketing Approach as the key to meeting Millennium Development goals and Global Public Health in the shortest possible time.

Another speaker on BOP Marketing and Finance included Mike Kerlin an Associate in the Washington office of Mc Kinsey and Company where he is leading research of water and sanitation access as well as collaboration with the World Sanitation Finance Facility and others seeking to be involved in sustainable sanitation solutions.

Another segment covered “Innovations in Global Toilet design and Application” which included the ‘Loo Watt Technology for Poverty Markets’ presented by Virginia Gardiner an industrial designer from England.  Virginia has developed a waterless toilet system that uses biodegradable polymer packaging to create local infrastructures where human waste is exchanged for energy and fertilizer.

Other segments of the Summit covered Advocacy and Potty Parity in Restrooms, Cleaning and Personal Care including a paper entitled “Sanitation is Key” by Professor Jan-Olof Drangert from Linkoping University in Sweden where he has gained 20 years experience in training in the environment field of sanitation and water.

I presented my paper in the final segment covering “Proper Sanitation for Humanity” on ‘Rotary’s Role in Meeting Water and Sanitation Millennium Goals’.  The paper basically identified:

Rotary’s history and structure

Wasrag’ recognition of the need for sustainable programs,

How it assist Clubs to overcome challenges

Rotary’s Sanitation, Health and Hygiene Programs

The Rotary in-country Regional Teams program

Whist the audience was small it did include a representative from the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation along with two sanitation representatives from Ghana of which one was from UNICEF.

PP/PHF Bill Chapman

Sanitation Task Force Chairman

Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group

1st December 2010

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