For refugee camps, a waterless toilet to improve health and safety
Friday, February 3, 2017
One of the most humiliating realities for Middle Eastern refugees involves a basic human need: going to the bathroom. At camps like Zaatari in Jordan, people walk miles and wait in endless lines to use unsanitary facilities, raising the possibility of disease.
The indignity is particularly crushing for girls and young women, who risk being attacked using communal toilets late at night. Others simply try not to go, and risk contracting urinary tract infections.
In response, some refugees have resorted to simply digging pits in the ground and trying to drain the sewage through trenches. It’s a grave sanitary hazard that affects more than 2 billion people worldwide.
Now, an MIT spinout, change:WATER Labs, plans to bring dignified sanitation to this population by developing a compact, evaporative toilet for homes without power or plumbing. Because sewage is mostly water, it’s possible to rapidly vaporize it, eliminating up to 95 percent of daily sewage volumes.
- Health Care