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WATCH | This waterless toilet is flushing away unsafe sanitation for kids in South Africa

Not all of South Africa’s sanitation challenges can be flushed away. But for Lumar Fourie, the solution may be waterless.

He and his team invented Amalooloo, a dry toilet system that reduces hygiene-related illnesses and keeps users out of harm's way.

“We really want to bring about dignity, privacy and safety to people,” Fourie says.

Lack of access to safe and hygienic toilets in South Africa continues to jeopardise people’s health.

“I think it is difficult to comprehend that there are people out there with absolutely no sanitation facilities,” Fourie says.

Children living in poor communities using pit latrines are the most vulnerable to diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea, and are at further risk of falling into the pits.

Safety measures on Fourie’s toilet include a customised seat for children and people with disabilities, and a child-friendly lock on the door.

It is equipped with a water tank and hand-wash basin above that automatically cleans the pedestal each time a user sanitises.

“The children feel safer,” Fourie says. “They feel dignified, especially the girls, and school attendance has dramatically increased.”

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The Amalooloo toilets also use aerobic technology to separate waste and recycle it into compost.

In 2019, Fourie donated 16 toilets to Ndlelayabasha Primary School in Pietermaritzburg where 455 learners had just one pit latrine toilet. Today he continues to assist other schools in Africa.

“The impact of my work has been extremely humbling and we will keep pushing forward in bringing about sustainable sanitation solutions,” Fourie says.

With over 720 000 units spread across nine African countries, he is spearheading the journey to a disease-free and eco-friendly world for all.