Team : Maëva and Soujoud

Project repository : Toilet-kit



TEAM : Maëva and Soujoud

An emergency toilet, healthy, respecting environment and low cost, made from local materials.



p dir= »auto »>The goal of this project is to improve sanitary conditions in the camps. According to our exchanges and our researches, the solutions already available (chemical toilets, schools toilets) are not enough/not brought really fast or not enough appropriated for the needs: no / little privacy or security (for women), no real system of evacuation of water/waste that avoid pollution, few toilets present in the camps and not enough maintenance of these ones, bad smells, transmission of diseases.

We want to develop a toilet in kit more adapted to the context and environmentally friendly, that can even be quickly set up and also used after the camps to facilitate the return to home of the victims. Toilet seats molded on micro concrete or alternatives available on site will be brought to the camps with biodegradable absorbing liquid bags and a rubber ring.

We chose to use a model that is already developed by EEDS, and adapt the mold so that we can fix a bag on it.

Process EEDS squatting pans


The aim of this project is to make aware of the sanitation issues, especially in the camps where diseases can quickly and easily spread in the soil and then, in the water.

Awareness begin right now, with the production of the squatting pans and the bags, explaining to people, educating children in schools, … Every body can produce pans with the right mold and explanations so it can be appropriated by people themselves.

Wooden Molds are first produced in India by Fab Labs following the dimensions that we sent to them. Then, they will send it to companies that produce pans and organizations that teach people how to make pans. Everybody will be able to take a mold from the Fab Labs.

In case of a disaster, around twenty of micro concrete squatting pans per camps are brought with a stock of bags, like the aid kits that are distributed by NGOs. Near the camp, Holes are digged by people and NGOs to put in the bags that are hooked to the pans. A structure with bamboo sticks and tarpaulin is deployed around the toilets as the system of Mahila Gappa Shauchalaya, only for women and children, and an other one for men.

Full bags are stocked, and then collected when possible. (We can’t exactly explain this process as we couldn’t develop the bag and make more researches about the possibilities).

Women will be safer when using these toilets, and soil and water will not be more polluted.

We are sure that in India, people will make molds with cheaper materials like steel, so the more important in this project is the new form of squatting pans.



  • Wood panel of 80x 80cm and 30 mm thick (Any kind of wood but don’t use OSB)
  • CNC machine
  • Sanding machine or pumice paper

Step 1 : Use the 3D model or make one with this form: the 3D model of the pan with an elevated hole. In that way it will be possible to attach a plastic bag on it with a rubber ring


the mold

Step 2 : Make the wooden mold with CNC machine. You’ll need a wood panel of minimum 90cm x 90cm and 30 mm thick. If you use MDF or similar wood, you’ll have to saturate the wood with Vaseline or any fatty material before step 3. Block Board is better, it’s far less porous so it’s not necessary to saturate it, but it’s more expensive.

Process wood mold (2)

Step 3 : Sand down the mold if it’s necessary.

Process wood mold (1)


A village of Vidarbha innovates with toilets where women converse freely :

Bio plastic :

About the Reinvented Toilet (RT) :


Uritrottoir :

Gates foundation :

Comment inventer les toilettes du futur ? :

IThrone :

India is on the greatest toilet-building spree in human history :

Natural Fibers in India : and ,,,

Ammanachi Labs project :

Types of toilets :

Human poo transformed into clean fuel for Kenya’s urban poor:

Sulabh toilets :

Des toilettes pour tous :

The innovators: US scientists harness the power of evaporating water :

‘Electric’ bacteria can purify sewage water – fast :

Comment l’eau peut-elle s’évaporer en deçà de son point d’ébullition ? :

Nature’s Recipe Book :

Les biocomposites et composites polymère-chanvre en particulier : file:///C:/Users/Souchiie/Downloads/valbiom_141023_rapport-biocomposites%20(1).pdf

Intouchables :

Molding casting Fab Labs :

Inde des toilettes pour la planète FIN Trust :

Sanitation will remain a mirage even after India stops defecating in the open :

About toilet :

Can’t use a stinky public toilet? Expect a solution soon :

Bio polymer :,

Biobag :

About yeast :

Toilet construction India :

A zero waste toilet to achieve a clean India :

SafiChoo toilet :


TEAM: Maëva and Soujoud

An emergency toilet, healthy, respecting environment and low cost, made from local materials.


We first defined the stakes of the project. We wanted it to be compact, lightweight, low-tech, removable, made / assembled from abundantly available materials found on site. We thought to use plastic bottles as a support and wood for the toilet seat.


We used the CNC to cut the wooden seat in a wooden board of 2.3 cm thick. We also made holes in the seat where the bottles will come to fit in.

After mounting and testing it, we realized that : there is a lack of stability, the kit was not light enough, it was not easy to put the bottles in the holes (especially if the soil is not horizontal). The height of the toilet is comfortable but is it adapted to the context of Kerala? We know they use Turkish toilets.

Process première structure


We thought about another assembly system for the bottles. A screw system? The seat is heavy, maybe we should scoop it out to have less wood? Or should we change the material for the seat, make it from composite materials (natural fibers and resin) and mold it.

We thought of a way to strengthen the bottles together with a colson or reinforcement belt. To give more stability to the bottles, we replaced the water by soil.

We then thought about the waste collect. We think first of all about a bucket but we were afraid that the users will not have the will to clean it as it is not currently in their culture. We then thought about a recyclable bag.

These questions followed: what would be the size of the bag, its composition, how to manufacture it, by whom, how to collect it after use and when, where to throw it, could this be used as compost? We knew that we couldn’t answer without asking some questions to Indian people.


We made researches about natural materials to lighten the toilet (bio polymers, composites with natural fibers like hemp, banana fibers, cotton, and latex) and the Fab Lab’s methods to mold it. We pursued with collecting informations about the way of life in Kerala, how do they use toilets?

Process Habitude indienne

We also were interested about what had been developed here and in India and the new systems that are currently developed about toilets issues all around the world. (Dry toilets systems, Bill Gates foundation researches and exposition, Steps For Sanitation, Uritrottoir, Sulabh Toilet, Shyama Ramani Toilet, SafiChoo, …)


Process Sulabh toilet

We thought that may be we could just transform one of these system into a low cost one, easily made in Kerala’s Fab Labs. But the question about the bags and the possibility of using the waste was still not resolved and seemed to be the key of the project. We were stuck.


We discovered this prototype which gave us a new impetus: The « IThrone », where liquids evaporate, reducing the frequency of waste collection and their impact (on odors, hygiene, weight, volume, …) thanks to a special kind of polymer. We began researches on the principle of heat shrinkable material and its equivalent in natural materials. We have been looking for fibers with the ability to be permeable and at the same time of retaining liquids to allow only evaporation, taking into account what materials are available in India.

Process Ithrone system


Following our last exchange with Kerala, we learned that the stakes of our project is firstly: the scale, and then: the waste (how to collect it and what to do with it in an emergency situation). Also, the biggest problem in India is that the septic tanks overflow in case of large uses.

Process flooded_toilet

We talked with Adrien. He proposed the possibility of developing a kind of a biological bacterias capsule capable of destroying waste in the tanks quickly. But following our researches, we discovered that water-soaked soils bring back and forth the water from the pits. This does not solve the problem of overflowing tanks.


So we returned again to our toilet in kit system and focused on developing the natural bag that would be equivalent to a heat-shrinkable polymer. We collected donkey wastes and distributed it into various bags made of linen, cotton, jute fiber and coconut fiber, to see which material will be able to retain the liquids and let it evaporate. We put the natural bags into bigger plastic bags to reproduce the environment into the closed box structure of the toilet.

Second test


We are not able to pursue without the help of an expert on biology. We called on the VUB Open BioLab and met Anne-Lise, professor, to expose her our researches, ideas, questions, … She offered us to experience the coprophagous bacterias: echoli and yeast. Mixed with waste and natural bags, all put in closed jars, it would allow us to determine the time needed for the bacterias to deteriorate the waste. The idea would be to design tablets based on these bacterias. It’s not the idea of a bag that evaporate the liquid, but it could be a different solution, maybe easier to develop. The problem is that if bacterias escape into the air, it is dangerous and causes diseases and infections.

Process Second test

Then we considered the absorption of liquids rather than evaporation, similar to the system used in campsites (a biodegradable bag with, basically, a kind of pads containing a liquid-absorbing polymer). One discovery in particular attracted us: the orange-avocado mixture that can be turned into a bio-polymer that absorbs liquids. But we didn’t have time anymore. We decided to leave the bag issue to the care of professionals. We have now to focus on what we can do on our own : the toilet structure.


The cardboard structure, the raw earth construction, the earthen filled bottles constructions are the systems we explored before concluding that they do not meet our constraints. We tried to build an Earthbag toilet that does not answer either.

Process structure earth bag

Finally, we chose to develop a kit to quickly build Turkish toilets, thanks to a mold. We first made researches about what exist right now as squatting pans in India and how there are build. We found the EEDS project that made pans with very light micro concrete that is a mix of ash, sand, stone dust, … It could be produced by local groups using low cost and easy to handle machines which can be shifted for decentralize production.

Our project will be to adapt the EEDS mold so that squatting pans will be used with the bags. We are sure that in India, people use molds with cheap materials like steel, so the more important in this project is the new form of squatting pans. We will use wooden mold because it’s easier here for us.

Process EEDS squatting pans

We did the 3D model of the pan with an elevated hole. In that way it will be possible to attach a plastic bag on it with a rubber ring. Then, we used CNC machine to make the wooden mold of the pan in a Block-board panel. It took 40 minutes. We also did a lid to protect from smells. First we wanted to use silicone mold but it’s too expensive. We though about using this mold with thermoforming technique to make a plastic mold (similar to a steel one, as we can see in India).


the mold

Process wood mold (2)

Process wood mold (1)

Except where otherwise noted, this work by ULB / DFS-Q1 / 2018-2019 is licensed under a
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