In June 2018, I and another student architect were working as social architects in conjunction with Oxfam. We were redesigning female WASH facilities through the active involvement of Rohingya women and girls residing in camps in Bangladesh.
Specifically, we were scoping appropriate community-based solutions using knowledge in feminist architecture, a critical understanding of the cultural dynamics and diversity of experiences and preferences within the female population. Through the amalgamation of women and girls’ input and background knowledge, we created more successful female WASH facilities. This is a pilot study to be deployed in other Bangladesh camps, and also internationally.
Rohingya Camp Blog Summary
End of field discussion and proposed improvements
Current latrines located on a hillside. Here you can see the Bottlegourd plant thriving around latrine facilities. Here we realised that people didnt have any stigma around edible plants growing around the latrines.
Meeting the women and girls and having an active discussion with them with drawing and modeling to help establish and clarify what we were all discussing.
Walking in the lower region of the camp, this area is subject to flooding – hence raised footpaths.
A quick sketch up model to show how we proposed to deal with the underused flood plane area of the camp.
More developed modular units emphasising light/ventilation/water harvesting.
Entry into the camp was on foot due to the severe rains. Furthermore this road has been made by the Bangledeshi government for the Rohingya’s and hasn’t yet been completed.
Methods of segregating male and female with limited space.
In bathing facilities we established that women wouldn’t mind drying their sanitary products in an all female drying/washing space shared by 10 other familes they knew. So we decided it would be appropriate to suggest a high self where each women has their allocated shelf they can store their sanitary product. Therefore each women would only ever see their own sanitary towel. The shelf is high up in order to create contact with the sun which has natural sterilising properties (the heat kills off bacteria)
We identified a key issue for the women was the lack of segregation with male and female wash facilities and latrines. This was an inital concept sketch to emphasise this idea.
A mother and baby outside their home
Quick sketch to emphasise the need for a seat in the bathing facilities for pregnant/elderly women. We saw scope for this being specially designed to ensure the shape provided optimum comfort for function.
This diagram emphasises the idea of urine and faeces segregation to reduce the need for desludging and utilise urine for plant growth.
Following our visit our findings were presented by the oxfam team in Co’s Bazaar, Bangledesh.