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Easy Latrine: Best in Show Winner at the 2010 IDEA Awards
Amanda Reed, 1 Jul 10

(Users and schematics for the award-winning IDE Easy Latrine. Photos courtesy Jeff Chapin and IDE Cambodia; via IDE's Blog)

The Easy Latrine was one of three designs to win "Best In Show" at the 2010 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA Awards). The latrine was developed by International Development Enterprises (IDE) with funding from USAID and the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).

Jeff Chapin, a designer at IDEO, and a team from IDE Cambodia designed the Easy Latrine to be a low-cost, locally sourced, and easily constructed sanitation system that addresses some of Cambodia's sanitation problems, particularly the health and safety dangers that arise from defecating in rice fields. The simple design consists of

a pan, a bucket of water with a ladle, and pipes to connect a hut to a latrine buried in the ground. The latrine itself has three receptacles made of rings of concrete bound by the ash of rice husks -- material that's readily at hand and much cheaper than cement. Once a receptacle is full, it can be capped, and after two years, the sediment can be used as compost.

To date, 2,500 villagers have installed the Easy Latrine in Cambodia at a cost of about $25 per latrine.

The design team is to be commended for understanding the problem (a lack of safe and hygienic toilet facilities) and coming up with a solution that is simple to execute, replicate and maintain. The IDEA Awards jury agreed, and as jury head John Barratt said: "It's an integration of strategy, service design, and product design."

See all the winners of the 2010 IDEA Awards here or here. You can also browse through winners from past IDEA Awards at IDSA's website.

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I have been involved in holistic management practices for sometime now. The easy latrine idea will be something that I am going to try out. Gerald

Posted by: Gerald on 3 Jul 10

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