Several community meetings were held to sensitise the villagers…
and an exposure visit to Trichi was held for select people to gain buy-in on eco-san toilets.
At the same time, masons were trained based on models from the WASH institute.
These ‘dry pit’ toilets have two three holes; one for solid waste, one for urination and one for washing. Two chambers means that once one is sealed to compost, the other is used in the interim 9 months.
Ash is put into the faeces to help the composting process and avoid smells; while the urine and waste water flow out through pipes – used for kitchen gardening.
50 toilets built across 11 villages made it difficult to really propogate the concept widely in each village.
children’s media club children’s media club children’s media club children’s media club children’s media club Some are slowly adjusting to this new system; happy that it is safer in emergencies and uses less water…
but others remain unused or converted into a traditional leach pit toilet.
Difficulty in usage, unavailability of ash and bad smells are stated as major problems.
The learning was reflected in a new eco- san project; where the first year was spent simply raising awareness. Concentrated in just one village, this helped build ‘buzz’ around the concept.
The design was changed slightly to try and make it more comfortable…
A and detailed instructions on the door helped new users understand what to do.
As another facet of the project, several schools in the area were provided with water pipe connections and toilet repairs.
Making it easy for children to wash their hands…
and ensuring the existing toilets could actually be used!
It’s a step forward; but how well eco-san will be accepted and sustained by communities in this flood-prone region remains a challenge to be seen!
Produced for: Plan India Produced by: Safer World Communications, www.saferworld.in Photographs: Sarika Gulati and Meghna Chawla