A SaTo Pan is simple technology, that can easily be implemented in any pit latrine to combat the transmission of communicable diseases.
SaTo Pans are simple, revolutionary technology that WaterSchool has been implementing with Africa Water Solutions to address open-air defecation and the host of communicable diseases ( cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio) this practice causes.
The SaTo Pan name is derived from the phrase “Safe Toilet” and are designed to close off insects or other hosts’ access to feces - thus limiting their ability to communicate these diseases.
The SaTo Pan flap is like a trap door -- the weight of a cup or bucket of water “flushing” the waste down opens the trap door to let it through into the latrine pit, but then the SaTo Pan’s counterweight keeps the SaTo Pan flap closed at all other times. The plastic material is also easy to clean, ensuring any residual waste is “flushed” down the SaTo Pan.
Diagram of SaTo Pan courtesy of Global Sanitation and Hygiene, Lixil (2019)
SaTo Pans cost only $4 USD each. While that seems cheap by North American standards, it can be too steep a price to pay for many families living in rural Uganda. WaterSchool and Africa Water Solutions have therefore established local saving schemes in rural communities to help make SaTo Pans available to all families.
The 24 established saving schemes are run through new Village Savings and Loans Committees that support families in accessing SaTo Pan technology through the use of micro-loans.
In 2018, we tested SaTo Pan implementation with over 100 families and are so confident in our method that we anticipate the implementation of over 20,000 SaTo Pans in 2019 alone. Achieving this distribution goal will make Africa Water Solutions the largest SaTo Pan distributor in Uganda.