(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — Twenty year-old Jordanian Sinan Abderrahim Assaid recently returned from the ECOSOC 2018 Youth Forum in New York, where he presented the "S-Toilet", a tech-solution for public bathrooms that aims to improve health while reducing cost of sanitation.
Aghast by the state of sanitation in the scarce public bathrooms across Jordan, Assaid said he had developed the S-toilet, a bathroom working like a vending machine to be installed in crowded public areas such as malls and companies.
"To use the bathroom, people will need to insert money as they would for a vending machine but, when they are about to leave, they will be able to get their money back if they used the place in a clean and respectful way," explained the mechatronics engineering student, who cited a range of sensors set to measure the sanitation level of the used bathroom.
"If the place is still clean after you use it, you will get your money back. However, if the floor or the seat is wet, or if you didn't wash your hands, the bathroom will not give you your cash back," the young man told The Jordan Times, stressing that this aims to "encourage people to use bathrooms in a healthier way, while reducing the cost of continuous cleaning of public bathrooms".
Assaid, who teamed up with three other current and former students from the University of Jordan, also aims to change the culture of using public bathrooms in Jordan. "When you go into Google and type 'public bathroom', what usually comes up is sentences like 'public bathrooms are gross, scary or disgusting'," the young man, who came up with the idea nine months ago during a university exam, explained.
Through this project, the recipient of a scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education and the US Department of State, voiced his hope to "take public sanitation in Jordan to the next level".
"Jordan suffers from a lack of public restrooms, especially in underprivileged areas. S-Toilet aims to introduce an innovative and highly sustainable solution to this issue," Assaid highlighted, noting that his project directly targets the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 for good health and well-being and the SDG 11 for sustainable cities and communities.
After presenting his project at the ECOSOC conference in New York, Assaid, who was dubbed one of the "champions of change" by the UNDP, is now planning to take part in the regional Hult Prize competition to be held in Tunis in March.
"All too often, young people in the Arab states are portrayed as universally, perpetually in despair. While many Arab countries are indeed in a state of turmoil, the truth is that young people across the region are finding ways to keep their societies moving forward and be at the forefront of development worldwide," said UNDP Regional Hub for Arab States Director Khaled Abdelshafi.
As part of its Youth Leadership Programme, UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States supports young Arabs like Assaid, who are "putting their creativity to the service of their communities using technology and innovation to support change that matters in daily life".
The Youth Forum, held annually by ECOSOC since 2012, offers "a unique opportunity for youth to voice their opinions, share ideas, and think together about what they can do to achieve the SDGs and 2030 Agenda", Abdelshafi told The Jordan Times.
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