Tag Archives: household latrines

India census: more people have a mobile phone than a household toilet

Nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone, according to the latest census data.

Only 46.9% of the 246.6 million households have lavatories while 49.8% defecate in the open. The remaining 3.2% use public toilets.

Census of India 2011 – Availability and Type of Latrine Facility: 2001-2011

Census 2011 data on houses, household amenities and assets reveal that 63.2% of homes have a telephone. More than half the population – 53.2% – have a mobile phone.

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Sudan: sanitation lessons from Pact’s WRAPP Equatoria Program

The Water for Recovery and Peace Program (WRAPP) began in late 2004, after Pact Sudan received USAID funding for programming in Greater Upper Nile and Greater Bahr el Ghazel Regions. The WRAPP Equatoria program (April 2007 – June 2009) was an extension of the WRAPP program into 7 counties in Eastern and 4 counties of Central Equatoria States.

The WRAPP Equatoria program involved partnerships with Sudanese NGOs, INGOs and private sector contractors, with a strong focus on enhancing the capacity of local partner organizations. The sanitation component of the program included the construction of one eco-san public toilet, one school pit latrine and 280 household latrines. The program also established more the 230 Water and Sanitation Management Committees (WSMCs). The total program benefited an estimated 100,000 people including 30,000 returnees. Pact was able to leverage additional funding from other sources to construct three more public latrines.

Pre-construction awareness raising important for sustainability

WRAPP has been able to demonstrate that hygiene and sanitation awareness coupled with the installation of improved water facilities can trigger behavior changes in the community that will subsequently lead to a demand and initiative for sanitation facilities. At the same time WRAPP also discovered the importance of creating awareness about hygiene and sanitation in advance of the implementation of water facilities. This approach can guarantees a more enthusiastic participation, which leads to a higher level of acceptance and ownership by a larger group of community members, and supports greater sustainability of the program by reinforcing the link between water, sanitation and hygiene.

A role for returnees

Most returnees have been exposed to the practice of using sanitation facilities and knowledge of hygiene
awareness during their stay in either refugee camps or towns in neighboring countries. Returnees spearheaded the construction of household latrines in their host communities. They replicated what they had learned from outside and assisted in spreading hygiene and sanitation messages. Their active involvement was critical to spurring organic demand for improved sanitation.

Public latrines should be privatized

Pact observed that community management of public latrines didn’t yield positive, sustainable outcomes. WRAPP does not intend to continue the construction of public latrines until there is an improvement in the general public’s attitude toward public latrines. Some places like Kapoeta town have shown positive progress in maintenance and use by privatizing their public latrines, and WRAPP has been in discussion with community management committees and local authorities to convince them to privatize their public latrines. WRAPP will continue to discuss with the local administration in Kaya to privatize the eco-san public latrine built in this program.

Eco-san public latrine constructed in Kaya (Uganda-Sudan border town). Constructed at the Truck parking yard to also serve immigration and customs offices. Photo: Pact

Success story: demand-driven household latrines in Kit One

Kit One is a small community in Magwi County comprised of Acholi returnees who had been living in Ugandan refugee camps during the war. Having been sensitized to household latrines during their time in Uganda, the community responded very enthusiastically to the household latrine project implemented by AWDA (Acholi Women’s Development Association). In addition to the 20 pits dug for the project, 40 other families also dug pits. In light of this demand-driven response for sanitation, WRAPP modified the grant to AWDA to add materials so that the additional 40 latrines can be built as well. In addition WRAPP delivered 15 plastic slabs from other areas where the CBOs have failed to distribute the slabs to household and supplied to AWDA. The 15 slabs were used to complete house hold latrines successfully.

Household latrine in Kit One supported by AWDA ( Mrs. Rebecca, AWDA leader, on the right). Walls and roof was later built by the households. Photo: Pact

Web site: Pact – Water for Recovery and Peace Program (WRAPP)

Source: Pact Sudan Country Program (2009). Water for Recovery and Peace Program Equatoria (WRAPP Equatoria) : final report. Washington, DC, USA, USAID. Download full report

Nepal, Surkhet: toilet a must for local elections

A campaign is going to be started in Surkhet district, in the Mid-Western Development Region of Nepal, to make it mandatory for candidates in the local elections to have a toilet in his/her house. This campaign is a part of the five-year sanitation action plan prepared by the Regional Monitoring and Supervision Office to make Surkhet an open defecation free district by 2015.

Stakeholders and political parties have committed to implement the action plan. According to the action plan, the political parties have to give high priority to sanitation, include sanitation in their manifesto and mobilize their youth wings to work in the sanitation sector.

In related news, the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Maidi, in Dhading District, central Nepal, said it will cut off its services to those consumers who do not construct toilets in their homes. The VDC has launched a “One House One Toilet” campaign that it hopes will help to declare Maidi an open defecation free zone.

Source: Kantipur / NGO Forum, 28 Jan 2010 ; Kantipur / NGO Forum, 27 Jan 2010

India, Bangalore: Changing the Sanitation Landscape

The residents of Sudhamnagar, a slum community in Bangalore, made the big leap from defecating in the open until 2007 to having household latrines in 2009, proving that once people understand what they’re missing, they will find ways to get it.

Sudhamnagar comprises 300 households of mostly daily wage earners. For a long time residents had no access to safe water supply, no basic sanitation facility in their homes, limited educational opportunity for children, and very little hope for a better quality of life.

“Everything changed when AVAS [Association for Volunteer Action and Services] stepped in and helped us by constructing a community toilet,” says Josephine, a local resident and member of the WATSAN committee.

In a dialogue faciltated by AVAS, residents identified basic facilities like housing, water, sanitation, and electricity as their most urgent needs. The dialogue later branched out to wider grounds-from education to health to land tenure to livelihood.

After ensuring that the community had stable land rights, AVAS and the WATSAN Committee negotiated with the local government and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for the installation of water connections and construction of public toilets.

The public toilets were so popular that frequent use led to maintenance and cleanliness problems. As a result residents began constructing household latrines with technical guidance from AVAS, a little financial assistance, and the support of the WATSAN Committees.

The community’s efforts easily demystify many myths about sanitation: that sanitation requires expensive and high-tech solutions, that the poor have more important needs than sanitation, or that governments and utilities do not have access to financing for sanitation.

“The poor are willing to pay if they have access to the service,” says Anita Reddy, AVAS’ Managing Trustee. “Accessibility, affordability, and participation in decision making are the critical ingredients that helped the residents change their lifelong habits,” she added.

See also: Water rights: access to water means access to education in the slums of Bangalore, India, Source South Asia, 19 Nov 2007

Contact: Association for Voluntary Action and Service (AVAS), No. 9, 5th Cross, Puttaiah Compound, Ashwath Nagar, Bangalore 560094, India, Ph: +91-80-23516227, Email: avas [at] vsnl.com

Source: Ma. Christina Dueñas, ADB, Feb 2009

India: Sulabh features in UNDP report on business strategies that engage the poor

Sulabh International ‘s work on low-cost sanitation in India and abroad was chosen as one of the 50 successful business models for targetting the poor that feature in UNDP’s new report “Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor” released on 1 July 2008. The full case study “Sulabh International: A Movement to Liberate Scavengers by Implementing a Low-Cost, Safe Sanitation System (India)” reviews the positive outcomes for the poor, key constraints and key strategies used.

In 2005, Sulabh’s revenues, mainly from the construction of household latrines and pay-per-use public toilets, reached nearly Rs 1250 million (US$32 million) with a 15 percent surplus (i.e. approximately US$5 million).  The surplus was used to run social programmes.

The case study not only deals with the successes of Sulabh but also addresses criticism of its approach  and some failures, such as the termination of its contract by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to maintain 1,953 public toilets in the city. Other players, like SPARC (Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centers), Fumes International  and Gram Vikas, emerged in 2004/2005 to challenge Sulabh’s monopoly in working with state governments.

Sulabh’s founder, Bindheshwar Pathak, revealed his new vision for the organisation in which it would move away from implementation and focus on the establishment of Sulabh’s Sanitation University. Sulabh was cultivating 23 non-profit organizations started by former employees to implement and run projects in its place, a trend Pathak expected to continue.