Dahiwakud Solar Bathroom Project

July 2008 – May 2010

Funded by the Arizona Community Foundation and The Corporation for National and Commuity Service: Learn & Serve Higher Education


View Dahiwakud Project Evaluation and Survey Results

The Tohono O’odham Community College collaborated with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in a service learning project to develop solar dahiwakud (bathrooms) for elderly indigenous peoples in remote areas with no grid electricity or running water. Funding was provided through a grant from the Community College National Center for Community Engagement (CCNCCE) with funding made available in part from the Arizona Community Foundation, Grant #20091738.

Under the leadership of Dr. John Duffy (Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, Coordinator for the Solar Engineering Graduate Program and Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell), the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) provided designs of solar-powered bathroom units with modules for providing solar hot water, solar or hand water pumping, evaporative cooler, composting toilet, and photovoltaic panels for electricity for the bathroom unit and for basic lighting in the house. The designs were (and will continue to be) part of service-learning projects of students in the mechanical engineering undergraduate program and the solar engineering graduate program. Students at Tohono O’odham Community College’s (TOCC) apprenticeship program who were learning building trades and TOCC students in other relevant academic areas helped complete the designs and built prototype modules for demonstration and actual use in remote areas of the surrounding reservations. UML led workshops on the principles of solar design used in the dahiwakud units as well as help in the construction and testing of the units. Students and faculty from TOCC participated in these workshops. By building the bathrooms as solar units, students not only provided the necessary electricity to run the various components within the bathroom units, but also provided electricity to other parts of the home.

View Photo Album of Dahiwakud Solar Bathroom Project [PPT]

For more information, please contact John Duffy at 978-934-2968 or via email at [email protected]

This material was based upon work supported in part by the Community College National Center for Community Engagement through grants from the Arizona Community Foundation, Grant No. 20091738 and the Corporation for National and Community Service under Learn and Serve America, Grant No. 06LHHAZ001. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Community College National Center for Community Engagement, the Arizona Community Foundation, the Corporation, or the Learn and Serve America Program.