Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
WaterAid Nigeria in collaboration with the Women Development Association for Self-Sustenance (WODASS) has partnered with the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA), and Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) to conduct a ‘Toilet Design’ workshop with stakeholders in the state as part of efforts to review existing toilets designs by various WASH-related Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The objective of the workshop was to identify gaps and improve on the new users’ centre toilets design which is tailored towards improving the hygiene of women, girls, and persons with disabilities and children.
THISDAY learnt that WaterAid Nigeria in partnership with WaterAid Australia with funding from a donor, ‘Who Gives a Crap’, is implementing on an impact acceleration innovation challenge that ensures that women and girls can use public toilets with dignity without worries.
Speaking on the overview of the impact Accelerator Project in Bauchi yesterday, the state Team Lead WaterAid, Wando Akosu, said the project is hinged on a user-centered design of public toilets with an objective of influencing the Bauchi State Government to provide toilet facilities that women and girls can use with dignity and without concerns using evidence from research.
She said the execution of the project was carried out by strengthening the capacity of BASEPA and the Ministry of Environment on features and components of a female-friendly toilet as well as engaging a gender expert to access existing toilets in motor parks and markets, including user and non-users feedback.
According to her, other modes of execution of the project include findings/evidence from the assessment used to engage decision-makers, engagement of users, and non-users, women groups, public toilet operators, persons with disabilities, organisations, motor parks, and market associations to review the existing design of public toilets and also involve WASH media network at the national level and Bauchi State to raise awareness on the issues.
Wandoo said during the project implementation in the state, an accessibility and safety audit in 15 toilets in the motor parks and markets in Bauchi metropolis was conducted, adding that some of the findings was that there were no separate toilet compartments for women, common entrance for men and women, no provision of separate compartments for menstrual hygiene and sanitary waste management, no access ramps for persons with disabilities to use independently and no separate compartments for PWDs.
In his presentation on design for male and female public toilets, the WaterAid consultant, Ojelabi Mayokun, said when designing a toilet, factors that should be taken into consideration include accessibility and safety audit, climate resilience, financial considerations and service providers’ inputs.