Gedanken zum Welttoilettentag 2016

The following blog post is in German only, and covers some thoughts and activities on World Toilet Day 2016.

Wenn man in Deutschland zum Arzt geht, bekommt man oft nur Leiden diagnostiziert, für die es in der Gebührenverordnungen der Ärzte eine Abrechnungstabelle gibt. Ähnlich verhält es sich aus meiner Sicht mit den Toilettensystemen, die zur Auswahl stehen und dann oftmals nur aus Kostengründen zum Einsatz kommen. Aber der Reihe nach:

Der Frankfurter Welttoilettentag 2016

Die Pressekonferenz beim Welttoilettentag 2016 im Zukunftspavillon in Frankfurt am Main
Die Pressekonferenz beim Welttoilettentag 2016 im Zukunftspavillon in Frankfurt am Main

Für den Welttoilettentag 2016 hatte ich mich dieses Mal mit zwei Frankfurter Unternehmern zusammengetan, die mich aufgrund meines Leserbriefes zu den Toiletten in Frankfurt kontaktiert hatten. Wir Drei haben eine Arbeitsgruppe gebildet und möchten uns in Frankfurt für mehr und für bessere öffentliche Toiletten einsetzen, die man gerne benutzt und bei Bedarf auch jederzeit sauber und offen vorfindet. Jetzt in 2016 ist das leider noch nicht der Fall, es gibt einfach zu wenige Toiletten, und die relativ wenigen Toiletten entsprechen auch noch nicht dem Standard, den man sich als Nutzer bei einer öffentlichen Toilette wünscht (siehe: FNP1, FNP2, FR, RTL, Hessenschau). Dazu kommt, dass die Versorgung mit öffentlichen Toiletten für die Städte nach meinem Kenntnisstand keine verpflichtende Maßnahme ist (im Gegensatz zu Toiletten in Arbeitsstätten). Aus Sicht der meisten Städte verursachen öffentliche Toiletten vor allem Kosten und müssen ständig gewartet werden. Und das stimmt leider auch, weil jede Toilette nur so gut ist wie ihre Reinigung und Wartung – ein sich komplett selbst-reinigendes System gibt es bisher noch nicht. Ebenso ist es so, dass es in Frankfurt verwaltungsrechtliche und historische Gründe gibt, wieso die Zuständigkeiten für die Toiletten noch auf verschiedene Ämter verteilt sind. Alles keine leichte Ausgangssituation für den neuen Stadtrat, der hier eine Verbesserung versprochen hat.  Continue reading “Gedanken zum Welttoilettentag 2016”

Pros and Cons of sustainable portable toilets in Germany

The following post was written by guest blogger Kevin Kuhn of

In this article, I´d like to talk about one topic which is not very common in the field of sanitation. I am talking about rentals for portable toilets for any kind of events, construction sites, or festivals, but even for parks, beaches, e.t.c. for the long-term.

Why is it worth talking about it?
The sanitary situation on the sector for portable toilets is catastrophic. Sometimes it is worse than the situation in third world countries! At the moment people leave their homes and go to a crowded place, and it is nearly impossible to find proper sanitary installations. Most of the time they have a disgusting odour, they are stuffed with waste and the dirt doesn´t even let you think about sitting on it. If you know one of these plastic toilets, you will definitely recognize your experience with distaste. The worst situation appears on festivals for 2-5 days. During these events, people don´t have any possibility to enjoy a normal toilet. I have heard about people getting communicable diseases and constipation after such a weekend. So let me ask you, is that a situation which we can except in a far developed society like ours? Continue reading “Pros and Cons of sustainable portable toilets in Germany”

WASH karma score

Just as a quick hit and food for thought: in a recent e-mail exchange with WASH colleagues regarding online participation, I came to realize that it would be great to have some sort of (transferable) WASH karma for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) experts.

I have a friend who is an expert in the open-source server-side scripting language PHP. Being a programmer by profession, he often contributes to – a Q&A site for IT people. Questions and answers are rated and get voted up and down. His karma or online reputation is based on the quality of his answers. There is a direct relation between his expert knowledge, his willigness to share it with others, the resulting karma / online reputation and new contracts. Because, hey, wouldn’t you want to hire experts only? Right.

Microthrix parvicella An unrelated, but still interesting photo to attract the reader’s visual attention: Microthrix Parvicella, a family of bacteria the author of this blog encountered while working on a waste water treatment plant back in the days. Continue reading “WASH karma score”

How about a Cradle2Cradle certification for toilets?

UDDTs in Ukunda, KenyaYou may or may not have heard of the Cradle to Cradle® design concept – an approach to environmental engineering where materials flows are analysed and optimized to enhance the quality of products for the user so that they are more practical for the user, healthier for everyone affected by the product, and beneficial for the economy and the environment. Continue reading “How about a Cradle2Cradle certification for toilets?”

Harnessing the wisdom of crowds: Open discussion forum helps to answer many sanitation related questions

The following is a guest post by GIZ ecosan team leader, Dr. Elisabeth von Münch:

Harnessing the wisdom of crowds: Open discussion forum helps to answer many sanitation related questions

The idea for this open discussion forum on sanitation came from our experience that when you want to buy a new car or have a question about your baby’s teeth: where do you get advice from? You put your question into a search engine like Google and you end up reading other people’s postings on a discussion forum. Usually, those questions and answers prove to be very helpful.


The same mechanism can hold true for a discussion forum on sanitation issues. This is why the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) secretariat developed a new discussion forum which was launched in July 2011. The forum is open – as opposed to some existing closed fora which require a login even just for reading. Today, the SuSanA forum already has 930 registered users, 40 topics, nearly 1000 views for the most popular topics, and some topics have attracted up to 20 replies.

All postings are readable by everyone and searchable by search engines like Google and Yahoo. A broad range of topics are covered such as sanitation systems and technologies, health and hygiene, CLTS, school sanitation, sanitation systems for special conditions, menstrual hygiene management, SuSanA working groups and announcements and many more.

All registered users can contribute to the forum by creating new discussion topics or by responding to the posts of others. The option to create a user profile, including a passport-style photo, is available. The user can also attach additional documents and photos to his or her posts.

For people who like to receive postings via e-mail, it is also possible to subscribe to a daily e-mail alert service of new posts simply by leaving your e-mail address here. Alternatively or in addition, one can subscribe to specific categories or topics after logging in and thereby follow specific discussions.

Here are four examples of very active discussion threads so far:
Faecal sludge management
Mobile sanitation systems like peepoo bags in Kenya or a new urine diversion toilet pot in Bangladesh
Menstrual Hygiene Management, including the Ruby Cup business idea in Kenya
Progress of SuSanA working groups

To view the discussion forum or to obtain your own login for writing on the forum, please click here:

For further information or questions please contact the SuSanA secretariat.