The Index Project
Index Award 2011 Finalists
Easy Latrine
Easy to buy, easy to build, easy to use

Sanitation is one of the world’s biggest problems, with 2.6 billion people without access to basic sanitation. Diarrhea kills more children than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. In rural Cambodia, 82% of homes do not have a toilet, and at the current rate of adoption it will take 30 years to reach just 30% coverage. Markets have the potential to create demand for sanitation but have failed to address the needs, wants and desires of the people in the developing world by creating purchase barriers such as poor information, difficult purchase processes and expensive solutions.

The Easy Latrine focuses on the underground plumbing, which is the most critical component for public health and with an offset storage being the most desired type of latrine configuration. The cost-reducing manufacturing innovations have made the Easy Latrine affordable and accessible. It offers the most desirable type of latrine packaged as one simple product with an affordable price which anyone can install themselves.

The project has helped create over 29 sustainable enterprises and more than 11,500 Easy Latrines have been purchased by households, achieving a greater increase in latrine adoption than any other NGO or government program in Cambodia has been able to achieve in the past four years. With households being able to install the latrine themselves, no expensive skilled labor is needed and as a result the Easy Latrine marketplace has rapidly expanded to other provinces with more and more NGOs adopting the design. The design has demonstrated an incredible business opportunity for entrepreneurs in a sector that was traditionally believed to rely on NGOs and public sector support.

Designed by
Jeff Chapin - USA) and Ben Clouet - France