- We believe that the establishment of local, independent workshops that produce and sell the toilets within the region is a major factor for long-term sustainability of the project. The sale of the toilets can help finance the work of the local promoters. The incentive to sell the product motivates the producers to provide sufficient information and follow-up to the family so that the toilet functions correctly, thus resulting in sales by referrals through these satisfied customers. This is especially true when the workshop is a major source of income for the family.
In the SN de Puebla, men usually migrate in order to find employment as masonry workers. Leaving this income source in order to produce toilets means that the families are very interested in ways to promote the toilets to ensure sales.
- Proper tools and equipment are critical components of success, and while the materials for building the toilet (sand and cement, mostly) are quite inexpensive, the mold is a hefty investment for persons of low-income. We found that initially loaning molds and basic equipment was an effective solution to this problem. The groups were informed of the price of the mold so they would include that within the cost of the toilet (enabling purchase of a replacement mold in the future). As a "loan," the equipment carried the condition that it be used, and used properly, or it would be reclaimed. To increase the potential for successful use, training and a companion manual were provided for both regional promoters and manufacturers.
- The norm for production is that it is a learning process. The first seats produced are almost always defective, but if the initial training is adequate, the producers realize what their errors are and improve the quality.
- Previous experience in masonry does not seem to be a determining factor in successful production.