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New toilets for people with and without disabilities

28. January 2020 - Indonesia
In the districts of Donggala and Sigi on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, construction work is going on briskly. Where the earth shook 16 months ago and a tsunami hit the coast, reconstruction is in full swing. Our contribution: reconstruction and expansion of WASH infrastructure, earthquake-proof, inclusive and barrier-free.

In front of the sanitary facilities, there are floor plates with nubs that can be felt with canes for the blind, the door frames are extra wide to allow wheelchairs to pass through, and a ramp bridges the difference in height to the street - this or something similar is the look of all 32 locations where arche noVa builds latrines with an inclusive design. Among them are 19 schools, 11 village offices and two health centres.

Portrait Arsad, construction worker in Donggala district

"During planning and on the construction site we work very closely with the organisation for people with disabilities."

Arsad, construction worker in Donggala district

Cooperation and communication

The partner organisation of arche noVa in Indonesia is the Office Indonesia of the Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB) with its local team. At the beginning of the project we passed on our expertise in the field of sanitary construction in trainings. Knowledge transfer and exchange is still going on now. For example, in November there was a workshop for the WASH staff of ASB Indonesia and for members of the local organisations for people with disabilities. The theoretical and practical part was about water quality and water treatment. During the meetings, an interpreter translated into sign language. In addition, all practical exercises were also made accessible to a blind participant, such as the use of a mobile water laboratory.

Building back better - better than before

At two schools in the community of Toaya the sanitary facilities have recently been completed. Hji Indakwita personally thanked our team when they went on a monitoring trip at the end of 2019 to check the progress of the project on site. The 53-year-old teacher is particularly pleased that the new, brightly coloured little house has sitting toilets and that she does not have to use a squat toilet as before. This is particularly good because she has knee problems, she says laughing and the teachers around her laugh along with her.

Portrait of Hji Indakwita, primary school teacher in Toaya

"The children are very excited because the toilets have a flush that simply makes the droppings disappear. They say it's like a hotel."

Hji Indakwita, primary school teacher in Toaya

The principle arche noVa follows in Indonesia is "building back better". This means that not only the initial state is restored, but that the people are better provided for and protected in the future. This concerns for example the possibility for good hygiene practices, the durability and stability of the buildings as well as the consideration of the interests of all people who might have been overlooked before.

New plan after toilet construction: water for all households

In view of the still high need for help on site arche noVa wants to expand the project in the coming months. The water system in an affected community will be repaired. Due to the earthquake pumps were partly destroyed or parts were spilled. The aim is to ensure that all households in the selected community have access to a safe water supply. Currently, some households are not connected. They use the contaminated river water or have to buy bottled drinking water. Soon a detailed examination of the damage will be carried out and the technical solution will be worked out.

Earthquake and Tsunami 2018

In October 2018, a series of earthquakes and a tsunami devastated large parts of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. 2,227 people lost their lives and around 165,000 people were forced to leave their homes - according to United Nations data. arche noVa participated in the emergency relief efforts of the international community. We installed drinking water treatment systems at emergency shelters and provided temporary solutions in the sanitary sector.

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