[T]he Kathmandu Solid Waste Management Service (KSWM) has initiated a mobile public toilet programme. It installed its very first mobile toilet in Kathmandu at Basantpur Durbar Square almost two weeks ago. Resembling a big van, this green structure is currently kept at the southern side of the nine-storied temple. It, however, can be moved and set up at any required space. It occupies an area of nearly 144 square feet.
Basu Upreti, executive director of KSWM said, “Nearly 800 people are using the mobile toilet daily since we installed it. It’s our effort to address a rather real problem that people are facing.” One has to pay Rs. 3 and Rs. 2 to use the toilet.
The mobile toilet apart from being convenient is eco-friendly as well. There are different tanks to collect urine and stool. Each tank has a capacity of 500 litres and fills up in two days. At present the collected urine and stool is taken to a treatment plant at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. The waste is treated to destroy harmful contents and the residue, which is no longer harmful, is discarded. However, KSWM plans to recycle the waste in the future. According to Upreti, the urine will be used for making compost manure, and faeces to produce biogas. The organisation is in search of land for this project.
Further, the organisation also wants to reduce water consumption and is encouraging people to use toilet paper instead of water. “Since most of the people are not accustomed to using toilet paper, we provide a litre of water per person. A total of 300 litres of water is consumed daily,” said Upreti. Aware of the water scarcity, the water used for washing hands is reused for flushing.
Made from local technology developed by the Balaju Yantrasala and KSWM, its manufacturing cost is nearly Rs 10 lakh. KSWM is planning to extend service to nine more places within 10 months. A mobile toilet had also been set up by KSWM in Tundikhel during the recently held 5th National Games.
While Kathmandu has just received its first mobile public toilet, the Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan city has had a mobile toilet at Gwarko Chowk since six months. The urine and stool collected are used for producing biogas at the sub-metropolitan office. “It had been set up at Patan Durbar Square before it was moved to Gwarko as locals started complaining about the smell. Six-hundred people are using the service at Gwarko daily,” said Pradeep Amatya, Environment Engineer at Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan. They also have plans to extend this service in other locations in Lalitpur.
Source: The Himalayan Times/ NGO Forum, 1 May 2009