[Above: Ribbon-cutting ceremony in December 2012 for Demra settlement’s new truck stop public toilet.]

Community members make a presentation to Water 1st about their new public toilet. Note the private entrance for the female toilet at the left. Users of the toilet will pay for services such as collecting clean water, using toilets, using urinals, or taking a shower.
Users will pay about 4-cents to use these urinals. The urinal stalls use materials like porcelain and ceramic tile to make them attractive and easy to clean.
A sink for washing hands, and a mirror because truck drivers want good hair too.
This is the toilet the hundreds of bus and truck drivers have been sharing until now.
Users of the toilet can pay extra to take a shower (about 12 cents) or use a private toilet for defecation (about 6 cents).

I’ve done my share of cross-country road trips (in 1967, ’69, ’74, ’75, ’76, ’79, ’82, ’84, ’87, ’95, ’98, and 2004). It doesn’t take a dozen to realize that a good, clean truck stop bathroom is worth driving hundreds of miles out of your way for. Well it’s no different in Bangladesh. And Demra is home to a major rest stop for hundreds of Dhaka’s working trucks. Here is Demra’s truck stop bathroom at the start of the year.

Our Bangladesh partner organization, DSK, had worked with a market association in another part of town to coordinate the construction of a badly needed public toilet. That effort has been highly successful and the truck stop had all the same characteristics of success. With Water 1st funding, a first-class public toilet was built, complete with its own source of clean water (a 200-foot deep well). In November 2012, Water 1st participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the facility.

The doors open in December. We’re looking forward to reports from DSK on operations. The public toilet across town in Kamrangirchar is serving the needs of 200-plus people per day and making a small profit for the market association. Hopefully the truck stop bathroom will match those results. Here’s what the customers can use now! DSK encourages the community to use more expensive materials that are more durable and easy to clean. Cleanliness is the key to making my list of top truck stop bathrooms.