Student Exhibition of Nepal studio

Plumber Bob Sheridan views the exhibition in Newcastle


An exhibition on the role of maintenance in Nepal School Toilets…

This what was put on after the 2019 Sanitation Studio in Nepal by the students involved. HH ran the Sanitation Studio as part of the elective program at the University of Newcastle. In a public gallery in the city centre, the students showcased their excellent thinking and work around the maintenance of toilet blocks in Nepal. We know from our work in Australia that 3/4 of issues that result in housing failing to provide essential health benefits come from lack of routine maintenance. Health data tells us that access to these facilities is particularly critical for children aged 0-5. School toilets in Nepal service large populations by Australian standards and a functioning toilet might be the only one available for some families. Well designed and maintained toilets allow school-aged kids the ability to wash their face and hands regularly, dispose of human waste safely and the opportunity for a place to brush their teeth. These are all proven strategies to reduce infectious disease.

From the exhibition poster;

The 2019 brief was not to design more toilet and hand washing facilities but to think about their longevity. How can the studio design a process and equip the locals with the knowledge and tools to carry out planned maintenance regularly to ensure the projects have a long life?
The group worked with the plumbers and on ground teams to create a maintenance and cleaning schedule and equipped tool boxes and delivered these to the projects built over the years.


The exhibition consisted of several sections:

  • A detailed maintenance checklist for use in Nepal by the local teams to ensure toilets continue to offer health benefits
  • A ‘toolbox’ of health hardware and details as to why each piece is chosen
  • A seriously good comic about the time in Nepal
  • A series of photos showing site conditions and local context

Health hardware toolbox showcasing the critical pieces required and why specification is important

Health hardware – slide bolt

Health hardware – slide bolt, why they are crucial to toilet function

Maintenance checklist for use in Nepal. Translated into the local language with clear diagrams.

HH says thank you to Emerson Sims, Syahmina Nadhirah Zulkepli, James Hartley and Bobbie Bayley for all your hard work.