Contact Us                Advertise                                                                         OCT-DEC 2013

RAS holds inaugural Singapore WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) Conference and 5th annual LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Awards

At the inaugural Singapore WASH Conference held on World Toilet Day (WTD), 19th November, at the Tampines Regional Library, a WTD observance ceremony was first held with a video screening of “Where you go, matters” followed by observing a minute of silence for 2.5 billion people who do not have access to proper sanitation and 1.5 million children who die as a result of poor sanitation. Prior to presenting the LOO Awards to the unsung heroes behind clean public toilets, Guest of Honour, Minister Grace Fu launched the 3rd edition of A Guide to Better Public Toilet Design and Maintenance. This guide provides qualified persons such as engineers, architects, environmental and facility management professionals with information about good design, maintenance and user education. Design and user-friendly features which can influence better user behaviour were introduced in this latest edition. More comprehensive information on maintenance was also incorporated. The first edition was published in 1999 by the then Ministry of the Environment. The second edition was published in 2002 by RAS, in partnership with the National Environment Agency (NEA).


After the launch, 20 awards were presented at the LOO Awards ceremony with a record of 10 awards and grocery vouchers presented to restroom cleaning attendants in recognition of their efforts and professionalism. As its strategic move to evolve as a one-stop solution provider, RAS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two partners namely BusAds and Nicae Trading & Industrial Supplies that offer odour reduction solutions and nano-coating technology respectively. Another MOU was also signed in September with Infinergy Systems Solutions (ISS), an IT partner, to provide innovative solutions such as an electronic feedback system. ISS is the first company to sign an MOU with RAS. RAS has been providing solutions in terms of certification, consultation, education and training since its inception in 1998 but has never looked into product solutions.


The WASH conference, which was organised for building owners and qualified persons, focussed on four themes. On WASH regulations and guidelines, the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) and National Environment Agency (NEA) first shared about their latest regulatory updates followed by RAS on its 3rd edition guide. On WASH planning, the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACES) presented on practical challenges in design and construction of WASH systems while Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) on its WSQ training on Environmental Cleaning. On WASH practices, Environmental Management Association of Singapore (EMAS) provided audience with tips on best practices in environmental management while NEA updated the audience about its Enhanced Clean Mark Accreditation Scheme. Finally on WASH promotion, Lien Aid, World Toilet Organization (WTO) and RAS shared about their community-based programmes and activities that are promoting WASH to the public. RAS wishes to extend its sincere appreciation to the above organisations for not only contributing its expertise but also supporting the WTD.


[Media Release] [View Photos] [View Video]

RAS certifies Circle Line MRT stations and another preschool under the Happy Toilet Programme (HTP)

The HTP has achieved another milestone with the certification of 11 Circle Line MRT stations for the first time. Station commuters at Botanic Gardens, Buona Vista, Caldecott, Farrer Road, Haw Par Villa, Holland Village, Kent Ridge, Labrador Park, One North, Pasir Panjang and Telok Blangah can visit its 4-star Happy Toilets and provide instant feedback to RAS via LOO Connect or QR Code printed on the certificate if toilets are found to be unsatisfactory. RAS also shared its holistic approach with the MRT facility management company about training on restroom cleaning & inspection and effective maintenance by adopting innovative products & solutions.

After PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Yew Tee Preschool became the first preschool to certify its toilets as 3-star Happy Toilets, Sparkletots Child Development Centre (Telok Blangah) followed suit and became the first preschool to achieve a 4-star higher rating. These exemplary preschools have gone the extra mile, after participating in the Happy Toilet School Education for Preschools (HTSEP) education programme, to certify its toilets as Happy Toilets. With more preschools stepping up its hygiene standards against possible outbreaks such as the Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease (HFMD), we are anticipating more preschools to follow suit to provide quality Happy Toilets for its preschoolers.

[View Photos]

RAS conducts training for mosques’ cleaning attendants and supervisors from the South West Mosque Cluster

Almost three years after Malabar Muslim Jamaath Mosque became the first mosque to achieve 4-star rating for its toilets, RAS finally had the opportunity to collaborate closely with mosques from the South West Mosque Cluster (SWMC). RAS was introduced by the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) and after a meeting in October, MUIS took the initiative to encourage the SWMC mosques to embark on a holistic approach with RAS which first began with training for its cleaning attendants and supervisors.

For three consecutive days in November, on-the-job training (OJT) sessions on restroom cleaning were conducted at three mosques for a total of 32 cleaning attendants followed by a training session on restroom inspection for 9 supervisors in December. After the training sessions, SWMC would embark on the next approach to undergo Happy Toilet certification of its toilets. This would be followed by adoption of innovative products & solutions in restroom maintenance to enhance productivity and efficiency. The final phase of the holistic approach would be a public education campaign at the mosques. We hope to soon see mosques from other clusters emulating the commitment of SWMC in its provision of quality toilets for its worshippers.

RAS organises LOO (Let’s Observe Ourselves) Carnival at five HDB shopping malls

With HDB as the venue sponsor, the LOO Carnival makes its last appearance at the Rivervale Plaza from 18th – 24th November after making a stop each week at four shopping malls namely Pasir Ris West Plaza, Dawson Place, Taman Jurong Shopping Centre and Fajar Shopping Centre from 21st October. The message for the LOO Carnival was the same as the key World Toilet Day (WTD) message of “Ignite a SPARK – Share, Promote & Adopt Restroom Kindness” which aims to inspire everyone to not only share but also promote and adopt restroom kindness towards the following people:

·   Cleaning attendants

·   Fellow users

·   2.5 billion people in the world still without a toilet

Exhibitions, games and activities were held for one week at each shopping mall to reach out to shoppers. Exhibitions were held on weekdays while games and activities were held on weekends. The first LOO Carnival was organised in 2010 at the National Library Building to commemorate WTD and raise public awareness on the right restroom culture. Since 2010, the carnival was held only at one venue with the exception of 2013 which saw the carnival held island wide for the first time, thanks to the strong support of HDB.

[View Photos]

RAS participates actively in Clean and Green Singapore (CGS) events

Prior to the CGS 2014 Carnival and Launch Ceremony on 26th October, RAS actively worked with the organiser National Environment Agency (NEA) and   Public Hygiene Council (PHC) to develop educational contents of one of the CGS exhibits. The CGS exhibition was divided into three areas – Our Stories, Our Actions and Our Community. RAS exhibition area was allocated under Our Actions with the design layout of a toilet setting. Same as the LOO Carnival, our key World Toilet Day (WTD) message of “Ignite a SPARK – Share, Promote & Adopt Restroom Kindness” was also featured at the exhibition. Instead of cliché messages on reminding visitors to adopt good restroom habits, thought-provoking messages prompting visitors to think were used such as: Are we treasuring what 2.5 billion people are lacking – Appreciate what we have.


After the CGS Carnival 2014, RAS continued its involvement in the CGS Schools' Carnival held at ITE College West from 12th to 13th November. Similar to last year, educational games and activities were conducted for visiting preschoolers and primary school students. Colouring activities were organised for the first time to educate the young visitors on adopting good restroom etiquette. For eight consecutive years since 2006, RAS has been actively participating in this event to reach out to the young. This year’s carnival which was organised by the NEA attracted 6,000 visitors from 153 schools.


[View Photos]

Featured school from our STAR (Sustaining Toilets As Restrooms) programme

Our featured school in this edition of our e-newsletter is Global Indian International School (GIIS) Balestier Campus. From the list of nominated candidates for our LOO Awards for the Best School category, GIIS Balestier emerged as the worthy winner. Accrediting GIIS Balestier as the 2013 winner was no easy feat as there were worthy contenders, but this school edged ahead of the competition mainly due to its unique track record of achievements in the restroom environment within just a few years.


A healthy level of support from the Principal to the teachers and support staff saw GIIS Balestier get consecutive GOLD Star awards in our STAR Programme for schools. The uniqueness of the students’ contributions and determination of all school stakeholders to improve the restroom environment saw to this success. One of its achievements includes organising a special day each year to thank the school cleaners and support staff for their contribution to the school. Via an assembly programme and other approaches, this student driven initiative is something that RAS welcomes. Will GIIS Balestier take the crown in 2014? We hope to see other schools doing what they can to make it an interesting challenge.

Featured school decorations from our STAR (Sustaining Toilets As Restrooms) programme

Continuing further with our next few rounds of STAR Programme school audits, RAS would like to thrust the spotlight on the efforts of Fuhua Primary, Park View Primary and CHIJ Queen of Peace. These schools deserve a special mention due to the unique approaches employed in the decoration of their toilets. Can the kampong spirit be exemplified in a modern day school toilet? Yes it can, at Park View Primary School. Can one mistakenly assume that the beautiful paintings at Fuhua Primary School were the efforts of paid professionals? Certainly.


From the pictures provided with this article, it can be seen that the decorations here are rather unique and creative. CHIJ Queen of Peace emphasises the need to eat healthy with a good dose of fruit by getting students to paint tiles and banners with colourful reminders. Fuhua Primary, an active school within South West CDC’s Green School programme, promotes positive environmental messages through the students’ artwork (yes, those ducks and frogs were actually painted by primary school students!). And finally, Park View Primary re-fashioned a toilet with straw hats, bamboo fixtures and artwork to create a vibrant kampong atmosphere. RAS staff always experiences such joy when seeing all these unique decorations during school audits.

This e-newsletter was delivered to you by
Restroom Association (Singapore)