One-stop-shop sanitation entrepreneurs in Laos
Villagers in three districts of Laos can now go to one full service supplier to build their own toilet. Non-for-profit organisation SNV and district WASH teams identified the various suppliers of construction and developed a service for a range of toilets at a fixed price.
The aim of the initiative is to bridge the gap between households and the private sector.
Fragmented supply chain
On its website SNV recently published a blog on the background of the one-stop-shop concept and their teaming up with entrepreneurs. The blog titled 'Achieving sanitation for all by bridging the gap between households and the private sector' states that almost 60 percent of rural households in three districts of Savannakhet province do not have a toilet.
A supply chain analysis conducted by SNV in 2019 identified three key barriers that prevent households from building a toilet: limited technical knowledge, its (perceived) high cost, and a time-consuming and cumbersome process; starting from the purchase of materials to actual toilet installation.
The study revealed that individual households living in rural areas, wishing to build a toilet, often have to travel long distances to purchase construction materials, hire a skilled worker, and arrange for the transport of materials (and skilled worker) back to their village.
To overcome these barriers, the various suppliers of construction materials were invited to attend sanitation demand triggering events. In these events, the suppliers directly interacted with villagers, and jointly developed a range of costed toilet designs to meet consumers’ different preferences and budgets.
Economy of scale
In the blog one of the village sanitation promoters, a deputy chief in Nanokkhien, explains his role in the ‘one-stop-shop’ service. ‘Today, when I receive orders from households, all I need to do is coordinate with one sanitation entrepreneur and they will deliver and install the toilets. It takes only 1-2 hours from delivery to completion’.
A reaction from a villager illustrates the importance of affordable sanitation. ‘My wife and daughter wanted the same convenience and safety as other families who had built a new toilet in my village. After speaking with the village sanitation promoter, I was convinced to order a pour-flush toilet, at a reasonable price, without having to worry about the quality of construction. I like it that I can build the walls and roof of the toilet myself with local materials, as I cannot afford bricks’.
Within three months of the sanitation marketing campaign’s launch, 430 new toilets were built, and another 410 orders have been placed. Newly installed toilets in neighbouring households are also inspiring other households to aspire for better sanitation conditions.