5000 UDDT toilets in India (GroSan by NGO Sanitation First)


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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Re: Puducherry M&E Report (2018)

Dear all, I think the attached is self-explanatory. I hope you find it interesting and happy to answer questions if you have any.

Note by moderator: the attached report is entitled "Baseline Assessment on WASH in Slums in Puducherry"

First half of the executive summary:

To measure the impact of Sanitation First’s interventions in the slums of Puducherry, a baseline
survey was conducted to assess the inhabitants’ current access and use of water, toilet use and
practices, solid waste management, MHM and hygiene practices, and health and quality of life.
241 households across five slum areas, where the interventions are proposed, were surveyed. The
survey was done by using a close-ended survey instrument. The data was entered and analysed
using SPSS.
This report looks at the key aspects emerging from this baseline study. Some of the key points
• 60 percent of all households surveyed reported access to piped water at home, 40
percent relied on public taps for water. Drinking water is mostly stored in steel utensils
and the available water is considered drinkable by 68 percent of the households. 82
percent of households reported that they do not treat the water before drinking. Nearly
80 percent of the households reported that they insert their hand into the water
container to draw out water for drinking.
• Only 10 percent of all households reported access to individual household toilets, 22
percent said they use community toilets and 68 percent said they defecate in open.
• The most common reason for preferring open defecation was the lack of a community or
household toilet; 97 percent of households who practised open defecation said they
would prefer a toilet in the house.
• Those who have children below five years in their homes, reported that they dispose of
the child faeces along with household garbage or into the street/drain. Very few reported
disposals in a toilet.
• Solid waste as informed by the respondents, is disposed of by 62 percent of the
households by throwing it around their house. Only 44 percent said they use public
• Handwashing appears to be done at some of the critical moments of the day. 90 percent
said that they washed their hands after eating, 82 percent said that they washed their
hands after defecation, and 65 percent said that they washed their hands before cooking.
However, only 7 percent said that they washed their hands after cleaning child faeces.
• Many do consider that their habitation is not clean or hygienic and cite garbage lying
around as evidence of poor hygiene and sanitation.
• Major illnesses reported in the study locations are primarily fever/ cough and cold and
diarrhoea. For each bout of illness, an average loss of workdays is approximately 4-7 days.
• Sanitary pads were said to be preferred and more frequently used by women during
menstruation. The disposal was said to be done either in the community or household
dustbins, though open burning, burying and throwing in roads and open spaces were
also recorded.
• Households did not consider their quality of life to be very high, with the majority
considering their state of well-being to be either ‘okay’ or ‘bad’.


The report also has a section analysing the data collected at five intervals between 2014 and 2017
in three locations, where SF had earlier installed toilets. The data does indicate that on various
aspects of behaviour change and practices, there has been a significant change over the
reference period of three years in the 3 locations in Puducherry. There has been a major
behaviour change in use of toilets, reduction in open defecation; changes in the disposal of child
faeces, handwashing practices, and knowledge. While the intervention was perhaps on installing
toilets and ensuring its use; it is significant that there have been other behaviour changes too.
The other changes are perhaps a result of interventions by others, including construction of
individual toilets by households.

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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

The simple answer is no.

There are two reasons, with the first being the most prominent.

1. Corruption. Unless you have extremely good political allies or do not need any financial input locally, you need to be prepared to part with money to local municipal authorities. It is very unlikely you will get the necessary permissions otherwise. The fall back reason for why they (municipal authorities) will not give you permission is they are concerned about it (and this is 2.) being classified as manual scavenging, which of course, it isn't.

It is very frustrating.

However, we don't give up easily so watch this space.
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  • Elisabeth
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  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

In my role as moderator, I have now created this spin-off thread which came out of an earlier thread started by Kevin (see link above).

David: That's a nice detailed video about your GroSan toilets - a type of urine-diverting dry toilet (UDDT) with removable containers.

I noticed the use of the term "container-based sanitation". Are you finding that "container based sanitation (CBS)" now works better in opening doors to donors and stakeholders than the previously used terms ecosan toilets or UDDTs? Just wondering.

For those not so familia with this new term of container-based sanitation, see here on Wikipedia:

It says this about GroSan toilets:

Sanitation First: GroSan Toilet[edit | edit source]
Sanitation First, a UK and India based non-profit organization, has developed a container-based system suitable for use in India that does not contravene the country's strict manual scavenging laws.[8] The toilet, which they call a "GroSan Toilet" has an interface based around that of a urine diverting dry toilet (UDDT). Within the toilet superstructures are two spaces: one for the UDDT toilet and another for anal cleansing with water. Underneath, containers separately receive the three types of excreta: feces, urine, and anal wash water. Once full, the containers are taken to a central treatment facility. The waste products are stored, treated and disposed of safely, generally as an agricultural compost. As of November 2017 some 5,000 people were daily using these kinds of toilets in the Union Territory of Puducherry and Cuddalore, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

(the reference 8 goes to your website but it might be better to use a stand-alone report as the reference, e.g. your annual report from last year if you have one?)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Re: Ecological Public Toilets for India? Is it possible?

Hello Kevin, I am pretty certain I emailed, either directly or through the forum. Feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You may find this interesting
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  • Kevinkuhn
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Re: 5000 UDDT toilets in India (GroSan by NGO Sanitation First)

Hi David,

thanks for your response and now I am curios and want to know how you do this. I assume your organization is Sanitation First, correct?

How does the toilet looks like in the inside? Does it has 3 compartments including urine and wash water separation? Could you present a picture?

Did you come across severe misuse? Meaning that, the feces were to wet for drying inside the chamber.

How is your container based system working? Is it similar to the system of Clean Team, XRunners or Soil? Does this interfere with the law against manual scavenging? This was our main concern so far. How often do you need to come to a household/community toilet? Are the schools taking care of emptying by themselves or do you have service as well for them?

Do you provide any poster or information inside the toilets to make the toilets accessible to people without training?

It sounds very interesting and I am happy to hear that you built 5000 UDDTs already.

Non-Water Sanitation e.V.
www.nonwatersanitation.org (english)

EcoToiletten - Rental for public composting toilets for cities and music festivals in Germany
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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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5000 UDDT toilets in India (GroSan by NGO Sanitation First)

Hello, we have just built our 5,000th UDDT toilet in India. these are a mixture of family, community and schools. We have very good results with (of targeted users after three years) 95% of families, 90% community and 99% schools using their toilets. Our community toilets are a container based system.

Yes, you have to train people, but this comes back to what I say frequently, are we building toilets or investing in sanitation, and training is part of that investment.


Note by moderator (EvM): This post was originally in this thread: forum.susana.org/india/22276-ecological-...sh-resource-recovery

More information about these toilets was posted here: forum.susana.org/thematic-discussion-was...n?limitstart=0#22552

and also here: forum.susana.org/251-pit-latrines-e-g-si...iples?start=24#25173
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