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Build Public Toilet Maintenance Norms

Please view the included media that illustrate this concept and the need for it. By slightly modifying the pre-existing pay public toilet system and nudging users through signage placed inside and outside the toilet stall, this concept aims to build responsibility, accountability, and pride in maintaining and using clean community toilets with the users of the toilets themselves; thus, making their own experience of using these toilets more pleasant and hygienic. Furthermore, this lowers cleaning/maintenance costs so savings could be used fees, improve the facilities, or expand toilet access to new areas.

Photo of Vincent Cheng
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This works best for busy public toilets where there tends to be 1) a caretaker who collects usage fees and controls access, and 2) a new user entering right after the previous one has exited. Such toilet locations are likely to be common in the challenge’s focus geograhy of Kumasi, the 2nd largest city in Ghana, with 1.5 million inhabitants. Alternatively in less trafficked locations, the caretaker could check bathroom cleanliness after each use. Ideally, the sign text (in Ghana’s official language of English, though could also incorporate other local languages) would also be accompanied by explanatory visuals, as Ghana’s adult literacy rate, though rising, is currently ~65%. This could be implemented at many public toilets, regardless of the underlying facility technology, although surface materials (like white tile) that visibly display foreign substances yet are easy to clean, would be most complementary. Attribution for 3rd image:

Who could implement this?

  • Local entrepreneur
  • Multinational company
  • Large NGO
  • Government


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Photo of Vincent Cheng

Hmm...thanks for pointing that out Sabra.

Seems that at the end of a YouTube video, Youtube shows links to auto-generated "related" videos (I believe it's possible for openIDEO to change the embed code for the Youtube video so it doesn't show "related" links at the end, though I can't fix it on my end).

Anyways, as long as people just click directly on the media thumbnails on this concept page (and not on links at the end of videos), they should be fine.

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