The Better Living Challenge and finalist Francois De Flamingh, owner of United Development and inventor of the Lovely Loo, have been working with Think: Inn and the Imizamoyethu Educare Center in Khayelitsha to test this innovative toilet in a real life situation. The Lovely Loo has been a welcome donation and has been the talk of the community ever since! Ansi Gilfillin of Think: Inn shares this exciting process with us.
After the Better Living Challenge Showcase was concluded in 2014, the Challenge organisers and finalist Francois De Flamingh decided to put the prototype funding it had directed towards the development of the Lovely Loo, to even better use! The Showcase featured a full-scale working model of the Lovely Loo, and it was decided that the Lovely Loo would be donated to a crèche in Khayelitsha.
The Imizamoyethu Educare Center is a registered NPO crèche situated in Site B, Khayelitsha TR85. The crèche is run by Nomzamo, a well-respected woman in her community. She looks after 54 young children daily and runs the crèche from her shack.
There is no plumbing infrastructue in this part of Khayelitsha and residents make use of the bucket system. For the Imizamoyethu Educare Center, the Lovely Loo is an absolute blessing – 54 children using the crèche’s one bucket toilet daily, is just not feasible.
The Lovely Loo is a low-cost, self-contained, waterless toilet that turns waste into compost. In this Khayelitsha community, the Lovely Loo addresses the current need for a low-maintanance, odorless sanitation system.
The Lovely Loo arrived at its new home at Imizamoyethu in November 2014. Nomzamo waited until after the December holidays to start testing the new toilet because she insisted that “this gift is not for me, but for the children!”
The Lovely Loo will be tested on site for a minimum of six months. During this time, the Better Living Challenge will conduct an impact study to determine if this solution is an improvement on the current conditions, and will also explore ways to make it affordable and available to other interested community members. There are at least sixteen other pre-primary schools in the neighbourhood who are all very keen to give a Lovely Loo a home!