"Water, Sanitation and Hygiene baseline assessment - Cox’s Bazar, Rohingya refugee response" REACH, April 2018

"UNHCR Post Emergency Desludgable Institutional Latrine - Tools and Guidance for Refugee Settings" UNHCR, 2015

"Unified Standard Design Details for Latrines Details Latrine in Cox Bazaar's" UNHCR, 2018



Character / User

Pregnant women account for a large proportion in refugee camp population. We would like to design toilets targeted for pregnant women as a humanitarian response.


Insight Statement

A pregnant woman needs a tool to support herself during excretion because of temporary physical impairment.

Idea Sketches

Comments on sketch ideas - 25 Sept 2020

The refugee camps have specialized maternity centers where you may want to target to implement your design.

Source: Mike Zuckerman, 2020/09/25 Session at HKU from Uganda

Really like the idea of helping pregnant women

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/25 Session at HKU from Hong Kong

Good design intention, targeting on the pregnant women is a really good move. But how can prevent people other than pregnant women to use?

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/25 Session at HKU from Hong Kong

Very specific design for pregnant women. Maybe it is important to see how pregnant women get to the toilet, especially safety issue.

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/25 Session at HKU from Hong Kong

Can the prototype address more than one type of user? (i.e. not only for pregnant women)

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/25 Session at HKU from Hong Kong

It looks also applicable to wheelchair user with slight adjustment (wheelchair turning space), so it could benefit more people.

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/25 Session at HKU from Hong Kong

Will a pillow be hard to clean?

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/30 Discussion from Hong Kong

[Regarding inflatable system] it looked like it might have many small folds and stuff. ...make sure it doesn't break. Can maybe use something really sturdy like rubber from bike wheels?

Source: anonymous, 2020/09/30 Discussion from Hong Kong

Further research

Prototype 1 - Wooden Latrine

Components and usage of the latrine


Size and scale of the latrine


Materials of the latrine


Reinterpretation of Rohingya pattern on latrine design


Video - Prototyping Making & Role-Playing

Comments for Prototype 1 - 9 Oct 2020

Try to make it deployable with one hand.
Material efficiency, weight reduction.
Sustainability. Consider bamboo which is an abundant local material in Bangladesh.
Easy to mass produce.
Aesthetically accepted by Rohingya people.

Comments for Prototype 1 - 23 Oct 2020

From Ms. Gisa Zippert
Clarification: 1. 52% are women in the camp. 2. Rohingya are used to squat.
Pregnant women: 1. Squatting is encouraged for pregnant women in yoga exercise and pregnancy delivery. 2. Pregnant women go to toilets very often and urgent. Imagine if this toilet is designated for home usage.
Hygiene condition in the camp: 1. no or little soap is accessible 2. no big washing facilities 3. diseases transmitted through excretion, air and contaminated surfaces (e.g. cholera, diarrhea, COVID-19...) 4. pregnant women are more vulnerable to bladder and vaginal infection 5. no toilet paper - only water
Design suggestions: 1. Stability: squat toilet usually uneven and wide 2. Flooded toilet store on the wall 3. No-touch-door 4. No-splash-back-shape toilet 5. No-clogging design

Prototype 2 - Wooden Latrine

Deployable // Material efficiency // Portability

Components and usage of the latrine


Size and scale of the latrine


Comments - 30 Oct 2020

From Kid Composter Group
  • Usage: no handle to carry
  • Safety: Handles are needed; gaps between wooden boards may cause injuries
  • Quality: Sheared chair legs, need to improved the fabric connection
  • Cost: Costly for wood
  • Users: Targeted users limited. Usually male will not prefer to use a pedestal latrine. Cannot be shared among the household.
  • Materials: Replaced with plastic, more easy to clean.

From Cesar
  • Q. Can it be expanded into architectural scale?
  • Q. Instruments and instructions?

Prototype 3 - Wooden Latrine (in progress)

Components and usage of the latrine


Other Prototypes

Bamboo Latrine 1

Material efficiency // Sustainability // Portability

Usage of the latrine


Components and size of the latrine


Bamboo Latrine 2

Components, usage and size of the latrine


💰Business Model

Instruments and Instructions


  • Strong fabric/canvas (TARPAULINS)
  • Glue
  • Cloth
  • Alcohol (optional)


Collaboration with NGOs

Humanity & Inclusion

  • UK based, focused on disabilities, also emergency reflief and displaced persons
  • working in Bangladesh since 1997 to encourage inclusion of PWD in society, provides support to 30,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar
  • has distributed 1,800 mobility aids (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.)

Age and Disability Working Group (ADWG)

  • founded by Humanity & Inclusion (HI), CBM, the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) and HelpAge International in 2018

  • provided rehabilitation care to > 13000 people

Educational Materials


  • Components: number, materiality
  • Tools: glue, cloth, plywood, canvas
  • Usage: how to deploy? how to clean? how to store?
  • Repairing: how to repair the fabric hinge?

  • Education: how to make the design more sustainable? how teach users how to replace with easy materials (e.g. plastic bottle, fabrics) how to raise people's awareness on pregnant women care?
    • *scale figures, colours, simple line drawings

Version 1


Version 2


Version 3

Comments - 13 Nov 2020

Need to make intentions of the design super explicit from the start (cover page with key illustration)
Use of colour to differentiate elements and joints
Clarify the benefit of the design for the user
Who is the intended receiver of our design? In what context?
Is it possible for the design to not be dependent on materials/supply from us?
Education: how to replace, up-cycle? to make the design more sustainable

Comments - 19 Nov 2020

From Cesar
  • Home-usage: furniture,
  • Replicate, mass production
  • Replaceable materials:
  • Waterproof, washable feature
  • Some layers (fabrics) need to be reinvestigated.
  • Extra hole for holding is optional
  • Allow the users to check the phone?

  • Width: 12mm more
  • Length: 5mm more
  • Add place for easy opening
  • Middle lid: double the length to 80mm
  • Font Size
  • Thick outline
  • Grids for comics

Comments - 27 Nov 2020

From Guest Kuldeep Bandhu Aryal:
  • Q. What is the material made of? have you studied the impact of water absorption on the structural integrity?
  • Q. Do you think spillover of urine might cause hygiene issues?
  • Q. what is the weight of the unit? 2.2kg
  • It is mostly one room. Toilet is far-away. especially accessible toilets.
  • I think this can be modified to enable use for people with disability. need to add in straps and some handleThe shape needs to be oval and not square.
From Anwar Psy:
  • It will be good for the pregnant woman in refugees camp.
From Abbie:
  • Q. Have you found out if pregnant Rohingya women would prefer sitting on a toilet seat compared to squatting and then standing with the help of the assist bar? Many ppl around the world actually prefer squat toilets.
From Guest Ian Holliday:
  • Q. How much privacy are pregnant women able to access inside their homes in the camp? Is there typically more than one room?
From Arky:
  • I think you this product could be used not only for pregnant women, older adults with knee and hip problems that hampers their mobility could also use this!
From Chris Webster:
  • A simple and effective idea. Great design. Will be of use to elderly people too. If this was available, (and it is cleanable) then who would not want to use it (if you have mobility / agility problems).
  • For the portable toilet idea - I think this could be a winner. Design a lightweight, portable toilet seat, partner with material scientists to make it in pathogen-resistant and odour-eating material. Scale it up and get the cost right down and this could be a winner for refugee camps worldwide.

Project Manage

To help you manage your project, I suggest using a simple project management system like a Kanban/Trello board. Don't forget to

  • Be specific with the task. Link to the source
  • Assign one person per task. Of course, you can collaborate, but one person is responsible for the completion of one task
  • Deadline. So that your team can coordinate and nothing falls between the cracks.

Copy of Tasks

Not started
In progress
Research, Precedents
Prototype 1 - making
Prototype 1 - drawings
Bamboo Prototype - sketching
14/11 Sat Night Meeting
15/11 Notion Page Layout
18/11 Meeting with Cesar
10/11 Prototype3 (Water-proof, handles, surface area)
10/11 Education Material (graphics)

Assignment for Oct 9