A noted international sanitation expert announced plans yesterday for a project in Phnom Penh as part of a 10-country initiative to provide sustainable and cost-effective technology throughout Southeast Asia.
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Indian NGO Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, outlined plans to build five public toilets in the capital based on his flush compost toilet technology, a two-pit system that stores waste as it decomposes. The process rids the waste of contaminants over a two-year period and makes it suitable for use as fertilizer.
“The technology can be used in urban, rural and remote indigenous areas. Next, we will request project approval and licensing from the government, and the project’s funding will be provided by Sulabh International’s existing donor partners,” Pathak said.
He said the public toilets can easily be built with local materials, has low construction and maintenance costs compared with sewage and septic systems, and fits with cultural norms of waste disposal.
In addition to the plan’s five public toilets, Pathak said he will also install toilets in 500 houses and 100 schools.
Sulabh has installed more than 1.2 million toilets in countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan and India.