Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Tin Latrine

We're not marketing it as the Tin Latrine but that's the loving name we've given it at Sanihub!

The problem that many people have is that they don't have a reliable latrine product to invest in so don't want to take the risk of saving up or taking out a loan. Masons, like builders all over the world, are notoriously unreliable and often leave a job half done. So to solve part of this problem we're developing latrine products like this one so that people know that they can buy something that is reliable and affordable.

The idea is that a carpenter can build the latrine from wooden planks and corrugated iron sheets in panels, as shown in the second picture. This can then be transported as a 'flat-pack' like an IKEA piece of furniture and sold through SACCOs (Micro-Finance Organisations in Uganda) to rural households. As we've semi-centralised the production process we can work with the carpenter to ensure consistency and improve the product in line with feedback from the customers.

We've currently got it in production in the Mbale District in Eastern Uganda and are supplying a couple of SACCOs who have a steady number of orders, but this can be improved! The structure costs 400,000-600,000 Ugandan Shillings ($150-$250) which can be afforded through a loan from the SACCO.

It's not perfect and it's not the end of development. But it's a good start to see how much people are willing to pay for their latrines and generate customer feedback to make better products.

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