PNG Sanitation Project by Nicholas Papas

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Rural, coastal communities in Papua New Guinea face significant challenges due to a lack of access to adequate sanitation. The current practice of sea toilets, and open air defecation mean that people are getting very sick from direct or in-direct exposure to pathogens.

So to engage with this problem, a member of our team, Nicholas Papas recently visited Papua New Guinea as part of an independent research project that he is engaged in.

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Image Credit: “Sago Network” 

In collaboration in an NGO called Sago Network, Nick is conducting a pilot experiment to test socio-spatial and technical outcomes of two prototype composting and dehydration toilets. The results of this experiment will be used to propose an adapted sanitation model based on local systems through a participatory design process.

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Image Credit: “Sago Network”

So in February of this year, Nick and a small team of volunteer collaborators travelled to Barakau PNG, for three weeks to design and construct two prototypes toilets that will form the basis of his research experiment.

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Image Credit: “Sago Network”

They also set up systems of engagement, maintenance, and data collection with the pilot families, with a focus on building relationships and knowledge for the work to come.

As an architectural graduate, he has been engaged in volunteer work and community development for some time, building on previous experience in volunteer work and sanitation projects for other communities in PNG.

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Image Credit: “Sago Network”

Note: All images shown are courtesy of Sago Network