7. Caretaker Role and Educational Component

Caretaker Role and Educational Component

One of the toughest challenges, besides the design and construction of the Sanitation Centre, is the social integration of the new concepts and ideas that go along with it. The success of the facility is contingent on the proper education on how to use it, as well as an education piece to inform the community members on sanitary practices. In order to make improvements and upgrades in future designs, the community’s reaction to the facility will be assessed and documented.


After a sanitation centre is put into place, the Shaster Foundation and its affiliates will assign a caretaker, paid by the city or the Shaster Foundation, who will be in charge of facility upkeep and community education. The caretaker will be knowledgeable in all aspects of the sanitation centre in case something is damaged or broken and needs to be repaired. The appointed individual will also have the responsibility of routine upkeep, to make sure the facility is clean and safe to use. Since the sanitation centre will be enclosed by a gate, the caretaker will also be in charge of opening up in the morning and locking up at night.

Though a large portion of the caretaker’s responsibilities will be maintenance and upkeep, he or she will also be responsible for community education and the deterrence of facility damage and vandalism. The caretaker will be onsite during all of the facilities hours of operation to orient the community members on how to use the toilets and taps, as well as teach the community members how to properly wash their hands. The selected caretaker will be responsible for the distribution of toilet paper, and not allow any community member to enter with magazines, news paper, or any other material that can be used as toilet paper and potentially clog the toilets. The other responsibilities of the job would include the distribution of medication for diarrhoea, and, if necessary, revoking privileges for failing to practice the mandated sanitation procedures or vandalizing the facilities. Along with the sanitation benefits, this position would also provide a job opportunity in the community.


In order for the sanitation facility to be successful, the community has to understand and be supportive of major design parameters. The care taker should take the primary role of educator and should be able to explain the following items to community members:

  • Why a dry composting toilet was chosen
    • Explain the advantages of using a composting toilet such as the production of fertile soil for gardens and water conservation in water scarce environment.
    • Address the negative myths regarding dry sanitation such as odor and cleanliness and discuss how our system deals with these issues.
  • How to use urine divergent toilets
    • Explain the consequences of misusing a urine divergent toilet and how a urine divergent toilet works.
  • How to wash hands
    • Provide charts in front of sinks that illustrate proper hand washing technique and explain that hands should be washed after facility usage. Educate residence on how hand washing prevents the spread of disease.
  • How to use the laundry station
    • Explain the importance of conserving water at the laundry station
  • Why the facility will be closed at night
    • Explain that this is preventing the facility from being damaged or vandalized.

Assessing Community Expectations and Reactions

The community’s reactions to the sanitation centre should be documented upon its opening as well as periodic community evaluations to assure that we are meeting community needs.

Data Collection

The care taker will be responsible for collecting data on several different aspects of the sanitation facility. The table below shows some of the key information that should be collected.


Possible Method(s)

Number of Facility Users

Turn style at entrance, door counters, or similar scheme

Internal and External Temperature of Composting Waste

Room thermometer, long stem thermometer, or thermocouple

Volumes (Total Waste, Liquid vs. Solid)

Volume measurements marked on container

Compost Time

Document times in a log book

Composting Procedure

Document when the compost is agitated, rotated, stirred etc.

Record Amount of Compost Added

Document amounts in a log book

Grey Water Volume

Volume measurements marked on tank, flow meter in pipes, etc.

Document odor levels

Document any odor problems in log book


Document any and all complaints in the log book


Any changes to normal operation should be noted

Toilets, Urinals, and Primary Waste Management – Composting & Pasteurization – Improved Taps – Hand Washing Station – Laundry Station – Grey Water Management SchemeCaretaker Office – Facility Perimeter –