Five eco-friendly toilets have been installed in Wagang outside of Lae City as part of efforts to counter rising sea levels.
Wagang Community was identified as an area experiencing rising sea levels, making it difficult to build pit toilets.
Each of the five toilet sheds built consists of two toilet pots. They both will not be used at the same time. Whenever someone uses it, they have to throw in dry leaves for decomposing.
Once the toilet is full, a white square wooden cover will be placed on the top of the toilet lid to prevent people from using it, until the mulch is decomposed.
This second pot can then be ready to use while the decomposed waste is used as fertilizer in the gardens.
Trevor Galgal, the Project Manager, tracing the project’s work, says, ” In 2014, we went to a village near Wewak where we built neo-natal clinics, the same Bower Studio but different groups, and we built a similar composting toilet and a neonatal clinic over there; and we would like to continue on the project or program that we are doing but with different projects.”
The project was headed by Bower Studio of PNG, which is focused on implementing projects in disaster-affected areas.
Dr. David O’Brien, a representative from the Bower Studios also resounded the importance of the work, ” Water from the ocean and from tides/floods from the lagoon when it comes into the community, it makes the pit toilets flood; and that means that the people can get very,very sick. So we are very interested in working with the community to make a project where people can be much more healthier.”
Twelve Architecture students from Melbourne University were engaged to carry out the project within two weeks.
“First time in a community like this, just amazing to see the real sense of community here, it's just incredible, you don’t get that back in Melbourne at all."
Some community members also graduated with certificates today after being trained on carpentry by Bower Studios.
Normai Danny, a villager, said, “It is for me to equip and help myself later on when there is a need for these toilets to be built in my community. I can repeat it in different communities.”
These toilets will benefit more than 4,000 people of Wagang Community.
The toilets will be maintained by community members.