LCS Promotion Int AB was created to support large scale implementation of the SanPlat system developed by Björn Brandberg and a many people coming up with ideas and questions. This has resulted in a range of products and moulds which we happily have been selling, principally to development organizations. SanPlat is an abbreviation of Sanitation Platform, which is a nicer way of saying latrine slab. And, it is actually more than a latrine slab. It has quality criteria which we wish every latrine slab should have:
- A key hole shaped drop hole which is small enough to be child safe and big enough to be used comfortably with minimal risk of staining
- Elevated footrests correctly placed to help the user to find the right position also in complete the darkness of an African night
- Smooth and sloping surfaces draining towards the hole that are easy to clean and never forms a puddle of wash water or urine
The first SanPlats were developed in Mozambique and were dome-shaped made of unreinforced 4 cm thick concrete designed for local production in peri-urban areas. In Malawi we developed the rural version of the SanPlat, 60×60 cm, to be used to improve traditional latrines using locally manufactured moulds.
Together with Development Workshop in Angola we developed a set of moulds nicely packed in a sturdy box designed to kick-start a sanitation program anywhere.
Introduction of ‘All-In-One’ Mould
So far the Moulds had been designed for local production by local carpenters, just copying the moulds in the box. Eventually though the copying became very much ad hoc and quality criteria lost. To overcome this problem we developed the ‘all-in-one’ mould in plastic for SanPlats 60x60x5 cm with all the features in place. Two problems remained to be solved: The weight and the material as such. 35 kg is heavy and unreinforced concrete easily breaks in transport. Concrete is also a dull material difficult to keep clean as it by nature is porous and absorbs urine as well as faecal matter from loose stools. A logical solution was to move to plastic.
Introduction of Plastic SanPlats
Moving to plastic SanPlats, SaniPlast Privé, has solved a number of problems and had new advantages:
- Weight dropped from 35 to 2 kgs
- No breakages even when handled ignorantly
- Easy transport also in areas with no roads
- Easy to install in different types of latrines
- Possible to include in existing supply lines going the lat mile also in remote areas
- No cement that might be stolen or damaged in transport and storage or just used for other purposes
- Reduced transport and storage volume by 50%
- No absorption of urine and faecal matter
- No supervision or training required
- No hidden costs
- High sustainability as easy to reinstall in new latrines after filling up or collapse
- Easy to keep clean
- High status value contributing to adoption of a modern and healthy lifestyles
- Ideal to be installed in latrines built in CLTS programmes
There are still challenges to be addressed:
- At the present stage there is not yet a market for decentralized production why transport, border costs and import bureaucracy pushes the final price up.
- Local unregistered tradesmen have to take the whole VAT.
- Politicians to discover that supporting sanitation programmes now can give votes in democratic elections.
Introducing the SanPlat system was a qualitative step in improving the hygiene standard of latrines in general. Moving to plastic SanPlats is a second qualitative step, ready to go to scale.
Given that advantages by far are outweighing the challenges and that investment costs in sanitation has a rate of return ranging from 600 – 1200 % to the national economies there are good reasons for governments and donors to facilitate large-scale implementation of plastic SanPlats – now.