Phu Nhuan District digitalizes locations of public toilets

Integrating public toilet locations into digital maps and tourism applications to serve local residents and tourists, building new and renovating current public toilets via mobilizing social resources are solutions done by Phu Nhuan District.
A free public toilet for children in Gia Dinh Park

A free public toilet for children in Gia Dinh Park

A brief visit to a public toilet located inside the gas station at 59 Phan Dang Luu Street in Ward 7 shows that it is sanitary and is frequently used. Nguyen Thanh Nhan, a motorbike taxi rider, shared that 3 months ago, he had been instructed by employees of this station to use this free toilet when in need. He has been quite satisfied with it so far and wished that there would be more throughout the city for those in need.

Phu Nhuan District has several gas stations and supermarkets that are willing to save their space for free public toilets. Head of the district’s Natural Resources and Environment Division informed that there are now 13 such public toilets, 7 of which are sited in markets, parks while the rest inside fuel stations and supermarkets.

In addition, Phu Nhuan District has successfully mobilized 15 service businesses in major streets and crowded areas to allow tourists and passersby to use their toilets at no cost when in need. In the upcoming time, it is going to mobilize more cooperation from food service businesses, convenience stores in this matter.

For instance, Bud’s Coffee Shop at 30-32 Hoa Dao Street in Ward 2 is one location agreeing to allow passersby to use its toilets for free. Since the access to these toilets is separate from the area to serve diners, there is no negative influence at all. On the contrary, thanks to this decision, more people know the shop after stopping for the toilets, and the number of potential customers increases.

A public toilet inside a coffee shop in Ward 11 to serve tourists and passersby free of charge

A public toilet inside a coffee shop in Ward 11 to serve tourists and passersby free of charge

To timely update the locations of free public toilets throughout the district, Chairman of Phu Nhuan District People’s Committee Nguyen Dong Tung directed related state units to integrate these sites into its digital map and tourism applications as soon as possible.

The district also proposed to the HCMC Department of Tourism for a similar integration to the city map. Meanwhile, Phu Nhuan District is checking the status of current public toilets in order to ask for investment from the city’s budget to repair degraded ones or construct new toilets to serve the community.

For a long time, public toilets located at markets in Phu Nhuan District are under the management of commercial-service cooperatives. Each use costs less than VND5,000 (US$0.2). This revenue is used to maintain sanitation for those toilets, so users are happy to pay that fee.

Aware of that, the district is considering the organization of bidding sessions for the administration of public toilets sited in markets here, which operate in the form of fee collection. The winner is responsible for toilet maintenance and sanitation.

To accelerate the construction of new public toilets and ensure the compliance with technical requirements, in the proposal sent to the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Phu Nhuan District suggested the use of the city’s budget in building new and renovating existing public toilets under the responsibility of district units. The operation expense will be taken from the revenues of space rental for advertising, ATM installation, business purposes as long as the urban beauty and environment aspect are ensured.

In fact, many enterprises in Phu Nhuan District have expressed the wish to invest in standard public toilets to serve local inhabitants and tourists when they are allowed to exploit these places for advertising rental or business purposes. This might become a practical solution to address the serious lack of public toilets in HCMC at present.

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