ICONO has developed a prototype that will be tested out in order to gain valuable knowledge regarding function, implementation and maintenance.

The project's goals, among other things, are to make the latrine easy to clean, to provide it with a seal that will keep insects away and, simultaneously, to ensure that the surrounding room - typically a tent - will permit light and air to penetrate and circulate.

Learn more about The Child-Friendly Latrine Project in this animation:




"We have taken our point of departure in the children's need to use the toilet without being afraid - and at the same time, we are aspiring to make the latrines as easy to clean and as safe as possible.


"Moreover, we have sought to fulfil the requirements of simplicity and minimal maintenance, and we have tried to ensure that both the size and the weight of the latrine have been adapted to the eventual transport of the units on pallets to be sent to the emergency/disaster areas," says Peter Bysted.


The latrine consists of a squatting board made of plastic, a light superstructure that can be set up over the latrine - and a unique drop-formed "trap" made of soft silicone with a very smooth surface. The "drop" is opened by the weight of the excrement or the urine and closes up again after the excrement has passed on through. In this way, the odours and the insects will be cordoned off from the latrine and the tent and accordingly, there will be no visual contact into the hole under the latrine. The material is soft and the surface is so smooth that the latrine can operate without the use of water - or with very little water, like recycled water from the daily laundry or water that has been used for cleaning.

"We are well aware that water is a very scarce and very dear resource in most disaster areas. For this very reason, the latrine is going to have to operate without having to be flushed every single time - and we are aware that there must be a minimum use of water for cleaning and sanitizing. The entire latrine, including the latrine board, the "drop" and the tent that is to be set up on top of an aggregate folded together during the process of transport, so that it will be ready to be unfolded and set up just as soon as it happens to reach the refugee camp. The bags, within which the excrement can be collected and eventually transported to the composting site, have a structure that will allow water and urine to run out, but which, in fact, is so impervious that it will prevent the passage of helmint eggs, worms and other pathogenic organisms", informs Peter Kjær Mackie Jensen. "The solutions offered with this kind of bag for excrement and this kind of composting are something that nobody has ever come up with previously - although it really does appear to be so logical. It's not the case, however, that there's going to be room every place for digging two large holes in the earth for the excrement - just think of mountainous areas or situations in connection with flood catastrophes - or for implementing a 9-month period of composting."



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WHY? >

Design criteria for the Child-Friendly Latrine
ICONO has developed the Child-Friendly Latrine on the basis of certain established design criteria:

As seen from the child's point of view: this means to say, there is to be no direct visual contact with the excrement in the hole beneath the latrine; the latrine cabin will be lit up and will be free of insects; it will be free of foul-smelling odours; and there will be room for both mother and child.

Technical criteria: a smooth surface on the squatting board to ensure that the latrine can be cleaned with only two litres of water - or even less. The squatting board can be fabricated in durable plastic.

The surface must be smooth, with rounded corners, and without any cavities where bacteria or eggs might otherwise deposit themselves, and it must be serviceable in connection with different kinds of customary practices of cleaning the latrine - whether these practices might involve the use of water, paper or leaves - and it also has to be usable by more vulnerable groups of people, such as the elderly and the disabled, by means of a higher-positioned seat, which can easily be placed on the squatting board and removed again, after use.

Logistics: Low weight (about 50 kilograms per latrine), so the units can be stacked and optimised for transport; the latrine will possess the dimensions prescribed by a standard euro-pallet; and every latrine will have everything included (drain, tent canvas, door, etc.) and can be shipped simply and without complications.

Easy to empty and to recycle the excrement as fertilizer: There are two composting systems being put into play here: one involving a bag that can be removed and transported away from the latrine and another one that involves switching use of the latrine back and forth between two different holes in the earth - after nine months of composting, the fertilizer can be dug out of the holes in the ground and can be utilised, safely, for agriculture.

The Child-friendly latrine won the The Danish Design Award 2016

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