Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
The Sound Kitchen
Those amazing trills
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/16 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/15 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 08/14 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.

Foldaway toilet brings relief to disaster victims

media The toilet could help prevent outbreaks of cholera Reuters

A French doctor has designed a foldaway toilet, which is biodegradable, lightweight and easy to carry to be used in emergency situations following natural disasters.

Laurent Helewa had the idea after Hurricane Katrina and thinks the invention might be useful in other such disaster situations where thousands of displaced people are crowded into emergency accommodation, with inadequate, if any, toilet facilities. 

“The first problem is to have access to a toilet. Because if not, people will do their business wherever, and you end up with epidemics such as cholera,” Helewa told the French news agency.

The unit weighs about two kilogrammes and is essentially a piece of cardboard, which folds into a boxed seat in one minute. It comes with plastic bags which each contain an absorbent pad to soak up liquids.

The heavy-duty version was tested by four armies, and can withstand a weight of 200kg and a usage of 20 hours per day.

The French invention is one of among more than 1,000 creations showcased at this week’s International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva.



Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.