Far from a basic requirement, the humble toilet can be quite a luxury in parts of the Global South, including places like India, where a third of the population does not have access to proper toilets. Poor and inadequate sanitation accounts for various health related issues causing economic and social losses. Diarrhoeal diseases kill 700,000 children every year in India, most of which could have been prevented with better sanitation. (Source: WHO and UNICEF, 2015). The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Campaign from the Government of India is a 5 year program that aims to address this gap in India’s development story. Such a scenario is true not just in India but also across many countries in the global south. Adequate and regionally appropriate sanitation facilities are therefore, a critical aspect of the socio-economic development of a country. Bamboo has been called ‘green gold’; it is a prudent choice for green building materials and is being currently looked upon as an alternate low cost material for the housing challenges faced by several developing countries.

PBR is proud to be partnering with South Asia Bamboo Foundation to promote the use of bamboo in constructing bamboo toilets. These bamboo toilets will be designed to use locally available varieties of bamboo and can be tailored to be regionally and culturally appropriate. Bamboo walls & partitions panels, bamboo floors and corrugated bamboo roofing sheets, including bamboo toilet seats can all be part of such toilets. Engineering and material properties were studied exhaustively to utilize the full potential of bamboo as an engineering material in housing. Bamboo housing technology has already demonstrated the engineering applications of bamboo. All load bearing and semi load bearing elements are made either of round or split bamboo in the form of slivers in combination with bamboo based composites like BMB and BMCS for roofing with minimal use of timber and high energy consuming materials like iron, steel and cement.



Having successfully developed the technology for construction of bamboo based housing system; the challenge was to develop the technology which is equally viable for other structures, community centres and utility products like toilets. Supported by the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMPTC) in India, the South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF) has conducted international as well as regional training programs on Building with Bamboo and construction of Bamboo Toilets for community and public in various parts of India to enhance local capacity and skills. These were done in jointly with BMPTC, Auroville Bamboo Centre, Pondicherry, Kerala State Bamboo Mission (KBSM), Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA), and Forest Department of Dima Haso Autonomous Council, Assam. During the training two types of toilet models were constructed using local bamboo: single toilet for households and twin model for community usage like schools and other public places. The detailed layouts are attached. This is where bamboo can be critical as a cost effective and eco-friendly material to build toilets and thereby play a very important role in the mission of providing access to toilets and sanitation for those most in need. Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can bring this technology to places where it is needed the most. 

About South Asia Bamboo Foundation

South Asia Bamboo Foundation is a Trust registered under Indian Trust Act, and located in Guwahati, Assam, India is a non-profit conservative action organization established to ensure livelihood support to the rural masses by using native bamboo species throughout South Asia. The foundation aims at providing networking, awareness, technical knowhow, training, and capacity building, design development, technology, cluster development, marketing, advisory,  and services, related to bamboo and its products including bamboo housing and structures in the South Asian countries. SABF also engages in promoting Bamboo Summits for providing platform for bamboo policy makers, enterprise and entrepreneurship development globally and regionally to enhance trade of bamboo. PBR is proud to partner with SABF in making the bamboo toilets into a global movement. Write in to know more at info@pacificbamboo.org