This is another low cost, technology appropriate, design that communities are benefiting from and will continue to do so for many years to come. The Elephant Toilet has won the prestigious St. Andrews Prize for Environment 2008 for best design.
A pit 3 metres deep is dug out and lined with stones. A concrete slab is laid over the pit. This is the most expensive part of the construction.
The slab has two 'elephant ears' to stand on, a hole opening over the pit for solid matter to drop into, and an elephant's trunk that channels away urine into a compost pit. By keeping urine out of the pit, the faeces will decompose more easily as urine kills its useful bacteria.
Walls are built around the pit with an internal chimney running up the side. The construction uses sundried bricks rather than wood burnt to prevent deforestation.
A thatched roof covers the toilet to complete a fully private enclosure.
The light entering through the bottle attracts flies, which are then eliminated by the heat inside.
For soap, a seso bush that has antiseptic qualities, is planted outside the toilet. It is watered by the stream of waste water from hand washing.
When the pit is full (and it will take several years) the concrete slab is moved to a new pit and a fruit tree is planted in the old one. The fruit it produces will supplement the diet of the local community or can be taken to market to bring much-needed income for the community.
Publicly available: yes
Countries where available: rural Africa
Price range (USD): Contact supplier for quote
If you are aware of any updates to the Elephant Toilet project please complete the form or send an email to [email protected]