With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in partnership with iDE, American Standard Brands recently developed an improved sanitary latrine pan. This new 'SaTo' pan was commercialized in Bangladesh in March, 2013. Unlike existing pans, the SaTo pan incorporates a hygienic water seal achieved through a counterweighted trap door that swings to the open position upon addition of about one liter of water. No change is required in user behavior. Through the company's 'Flush for Good' initiative, American Standard is donating one SaTo pan for every Champion® toilet sold in the US and Canada in 2013. More than 500,000 pans will be provided to American Standard's partners BRAC and WaterAid, who will then utilize them in subsidized latrine installations for the poorest households in rural Bangladesh. The initiative will bring improved sanitation to roughly 2.5 million people over the next two years.
American Standard Brands commits to build on the success of Flush for Good and the SaTo latrine pan by continuing to expand the availability of affordable yet aspirational sanitation products. The company's goal is to have these products reach an additional three million people between 2013 and 2017 by: 1) Expanding marketing, distribution, and sales of SaTo pans in Bangladesh beyond the Flush for Good initiative, ensuring that the product is made widely available in rural markets at an affordable cost of about $1.50 USD, 2) Expanding distribution of the SaTo pan to other areas of the world where it could have applicability. Build sustainable business models that allow the product to be made widely available at an affordable cost, and 3) Developing new, affordable, aspirational sanitation products for other areas of the world. Leverage the company's design and manufacturing expertise to bring new solutions to people in areas where the SaTo pan might not be applicable.
In the remainder of 2013 and first half of 2014, American Standard will work with its manufacturing partner, PRAN-RFL Group, to broaden distribution and increase adoption of the SaTo pan in Bangladesh. A marketing and customer education plan will be developed to drive demand for the new improved product.
Concurrently, in 2013 and 2014, American Standard will develop a new sanitation product to meet specific needs of consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Water is scarce in most areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, and a suitable product will likely be required to operate on little or no flush water. Actual product requirements will be determined through a Deep Dive market assessment of two or more countries in Africa. The Deep Dive will be conducted in collaboration with iDE in the fall of 2013.
In the second half of 2014 and throughout 2015, after successfully increasing distribution of the SaTo pan in Bangladesh, American Standard will work with PRAN_RFL Group to expand distribution into India. Pour-flush latrines are relatively common in India, and the SaTo pan is expected to have broad applicability.
In 2014 - 2016, American Standard will look to identify other areas for distribution of SaTo pans. Potential areas are Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia and any relatively water-rich areas of Africa. In 2015 - 2017, American Standard will begin manufacturing and distributing the product or products that arise out of the development effort focused on Sub-Saharan Africa.
Approximately 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, of which nearly 1 billion continue to practice open defecation (E. Roma and I. Pugh, Toilets for Health, A report by the London School of Tropical Medicine in Collaboration with Domestos, 2012). The health issues that result are a major source of human suffering and a significant headwind to economic growth in the world's poorest nations. For example, diarrheal diseases that result from inadequate sanitation are the second leading cause of child deaths, claiming 850,000 million children every year (Roma & Pugh, ibid). In addition, waterborne diseases such as cholera can spread quickly in countries with poor access to sanitation.
In Bangladesh, over 28 million people (19% of the population) have no toilet or utilize an unhygienic pit latrine, such as a pit latrine with no effective seal. As result more than 50,000 children per year die of diarrheal diseases (UNICEF/WHO, Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done, 2009). In Tanzania, over 80% percent of the population which equals more than 35 million people, live without access to adequate sanitation (World Bank Water & Sanitation Program, Expanding Domestic Private Sector Participation in the Sanitation Market, Improved Sanitation and the Poor, 2013).