HYGIENE POINT – Kutiauku

Anika Zeman
Professur
Architectural Design and Participation
Projektarbeit

The awareness of hygiene is important all over the world – especially since the Covid-19 pandemic changed life on the planet. The lack of knowledge about hygiene still causes many problems in the global south. Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of diseases. Absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks.

The Chair of Architectural Design and Participation has been contacted by Aktion Pit – Togohilfe e.V.; an association active in the health sector, school education, child aid and village development in Togo since 1980. This NGO is working closely with 10 villages and has a strong network, including doctors, medical assistants and volunteers. The task was to design a Hygiene Point for five of these villages.

The definition of a hygiene point for the village of Djamdè needs to be based upon the research made on the natural, built and social environment. In order to create a valuable addition to the village and its users, the design is subject to the principle of Kutiauku, which means to protect in the Tammari language.
The concept of protection is multi-layered, as we envision not only a sheltered space from weather influences but also a meeting point, providing social interaction amongst all users. By enabling the opportunity for hygienic education and open discussion, the aim is to strengthen the community from within, allowing acquired knowledge to be spread.
Situated on the western outskirts of the village the building can make use of the tree sheltered area close to the river flowing to the South. Dense forest areas protect the hygiene point from the harmattan wind as well as from spreading odours. The structure is located on the main path between three large dwelling quarters and the school. Additionally, proximity to the agricultural fields allows easy accessibility to all groups of users. Satellite latrines, an herb garden and a potable water station allow the central main structure to focus on protection and social activation from within.
The central component of Kutiauku is the harvesting of rainwater in order to provide it to the community. Through a polytank we are able to distribute water to more than 350 people per day. Pursuing a sustainable approach, closed cycles are presented, both in terms of construction as well as regarding the water management.

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