The app makes it easy for users to locate clean and safe toilet facilities when they are away from home
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Spotted: Indian startup Woloo has launched an app that improves access to clean, safe, and hygienic toilets. It does this by locating the nearest washroom when users are away from their home or office. The app is currently available on Android devices and is coming soon to the Apple Store.
Woloo aggregates toilet facilities using an infrastructure of restaurants, cafes, shops, and schools. These already have some level of hygiene which Woloo further improves. The app then allows users to select a toilet from the network for private use.
The new app is particularly valuable for women in India. According to the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), finding a usable toilet in public spaces is difficult for women of all socioeconomic backgrounds. And of the washrooms available, the majority are built with limited budgets and are poorly maintained.
“Lack of access to improved sanitation, especially out of the home, for women has remained a difficult problem to solve, leading to immense anxiety on one hand and continuing a high burden of disease on the other. There are very few sustainable models that have successfully solved this problem,” explained Dr. Nimish Shah, managing director of IAPMO India Pvt. Ltd.
Woloo also currently maintains over 1,500 washrooms across Mumbai. Each Woloo washroom follows a standard protocol to ensure safety, cleanliness, and hygiene. The protocol was built on guidelines developed by the Toilet Board Coalition and the Woloo Assurance of Hygiene (WAH).
Woloo has received funding from IWSH for 1,000 annual subscriptions, which will go to women of Mumbai’s Railway police force. The company also plans to expand beyond Mumbai to Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, and Bangalore.
Other recent innovations aimed at improving hygiene include a mapping app that tracks water and sanitation problems.
Written By: Katrina Lane