WIT Press

Empowerment Versus Charity In Bringing Microflush Toilets To The Poor: Sustainable Local Economies For The Common Good


Free (open access)

Paper DOI



Volume 13 (2018), Issue 3



Page Range

373 - 381




The GSAP (Grand Challenges Explorations Award) Microflush toilet system, a locally sourced-locally fabricated toilet that features a macro-organism enhanced aerobic filter-digester and an innovative valve that flushes on just 150 cc of water has proven to be an effective sustainable sanitation solution for developing world tropical communities. This sustainable, locally sourced, locally fabricated technology has been deployed in 18 countries around the world through trained MAKERs creating for them a local business opportunity. The household toilet averages $300 of which $100 is profit for the MAKER. For the lowest income quintile households, a microloan is often required to effect toilet ownership and, when such credit is unavailable or inaccessible, GSAP’s LENDER model, operated by the MAKER or by another community player becomes a viable solution. Recent data from this intervention suggests a more powerful investment model to empower multiple local MAKERs with a sustainable sanitation credit fund (SANCRED). GSAP’s SANCRED approach as it evolved from its LENDER model is described. Early experience with essential elements of the model deployed with teams of Maasai women MAKERs is presented. The potential of the models, which emphasize economic development for the common good, solving the menacing condition of sanitation in the world and meeting Goal #6 and several others of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are noted.


closed systems, community development, economy for the common good, GSAP Microflush toilets, off-grid, revolving sanitation loan fund, rural wash, sanitation credit fund, sanitation, sustainable development goals, sustainable systemstoilets