Scene 1: A Loo with a View


When we decided that we would like to plan for a dry sanitation facility in Zwelitsha, Sizwe reached out to Shaun from Enviro Loo. Sizwe coordinated things so that our meeting with Shaun was the same day we met Aron from Ubuntu Plumbing, who was responsible for plumbing the current WaSH facility. In addition, the WPI team working with the Kiddies College in Observatory visited Langrug the same day. The purpose of their trip was to look at creches for their research.

Cast of Characters:

Shaun: The Enviro Loo representative

Nobathembu Fata: operates one of the crèches and serves as a community leader

Aron, Alfred, Washington , Olwethu , Baraka, Sizwe, WaSH team, Scott, Lorraine

Setting: WaSH Facility and Zwelitsha, Langrug


It is a special day for the WaSH team since we are lucky enough to have the Kiddies College team accompanying us to the informal settlement. In the morning both teams are excited to get on their way; Kiddies because it is their first time in an informal settlement, and WaSH because they have a meeting with Enviro Loo.

The teams arrive in Langrug after a brief visit to Observatory to pick up Ms. May and visit the students at Kiddies College. The Kiddies team is excited to look around and go on a tour while WaSH awaits the arrival of Sizwe and Shaun.

Shaun from Enviroloo markets his product for the first of two possible locations in Zwelithsa

Shaun from Enviroloo markets his product for the first of two possible locations in Zwelithsa

Shaun from Enviro Loo arrives and introduces himself to the advisors and the students, immediately producing glossy pictures and floor plans of current small business Enviro Loo locations and potential layouts for our dry sanitation facility. The WaSH team pounces and sorts through the many images and pamphlets, seeing what kind of work Enviro Loo thinks is possible. The caretakers join the students at the table looking at the floor plans with interest.

We decide that it’s time to view the potential sites in more depth. We walk up to the first of the platforms and begin looking at the site. Everyone is awed by the view of the community and the surrounding mountains at this location, so that Morgan gives it the nickname “the loo with the view.” Olwethu begins seeing the potential in the site and starts discussing potential designs with Morgan.

Joe, Scott, and Shaun talk about the logistics of the units; the size and space required as well as the necessities for sun and wind to keep the odor down. After discussion at the first site we move to the second site.

Community members (including Washington Boise on right) join the conversation with CORC members Baraka (left) and Olwethu (center)

Community members (including Washington Boise on right) join the conversation with CORC members Baraka (left) and Olwethu (center)

At the second site we are joined by Nobathembu, the leader of a local crèche, and Washington Boise, a community leader from Zwelitsha. They listen and offer input as to the potential success of each site.

As we talk there we see a woman using the broken water tap to do laundry as her son plays in the water. The community leaders say that this would be the better site because the community is already used to travelling there for water. We eventually head back to the WaSH facility. Ivette, Mackenzie, Morgan, Olwethu, Alfred, and Baraka take a detour to look at potential sites for CORC to duplicate the current WaSH facility.

CORC, WPI and Shaun reconvene at the facility. There we come up with a plan moving forward and a timeline for meetings. Everyone feels confident in the future of a dry sanitation facility as Shaun leaves and the Kiddies group returns from their tour of Langrug.


Finally meeting with a representative from Enviro Loo gave our project a sense of concrete possibility. It was exciting to look at the different sites in Zwelitsha, and analysing their potential as locations makes us feel that much closer to our goal of implementation. Although the prospect of Enviro Loo seems promising, we want to be sure that it is the right technology for the community before we commit to it. Regardless of the toilet technology we end up using, it is important that we bring all of the components to a successful WaSH facility together in our planning. We want to have a successful project and working in harmony with multiple groups increases our chances of creating a sustainable facility.