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Disaster-relief toilets being developed in Britain

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THE BRITISH Red Cross will stockpile emergency sanitation units in the event of major international disasters after it emerged that many aid agencies were providing inadequate latrines and washing facilities.

It plans to have at least 50 units on standby to be deployed anywhere in the world within three days.

'While the Red Cross can provide clean water in disaster situations, we do not have the same level of capability to deliver large-scale sanitation and hygiene promotion programmes, ' said Red Cross fundraiser Nick Vassallo. He added that makeshift latrines in disaster-struck areas were often unusable for security or hygiene reasons.

The mass sanitation emergency response units are currently being designed and tested, taking into account cultural behaviour and the needs of the elderly, disabled and children.

Each unit will include solid waste and wastewater management, disease control measures, hygiene promotion and be manned by 16 specialist local staff including a sanitation engineer responsible for construction and maintenance.

The British Red Cross is looking for corporate sponsors to help cover the cost of the emergency response units. For more information, contact Nick Vassallo on (020) 7877 7101

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