Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 45 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 91
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 36

Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 45 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

Wherever the Need UK, in tandem with its sister organisation Wherever the Need India Services, started working in peri-urban areas of Cuddalore in 2011. Within three years close to 3,500 people had access to a community UDDT.

In April 2014, a new trial, which included a purpose built compound, was implemented in slums of Puducherry and by the autumn of 2015 is expected to be providing sanitation services to over 3,000 people. At the outset of the trial a baseline survey was carried out, which included household finances.

The Inner City Sanitation (ICS) service is a container-based system, where both faeces and urine are collected separately, processed and used in non-food agriculture as an organic fertiliser. The eventual aim to is to determine whether the system can be self-sufficient in its economic process; to date, it is too early to tell.

However, in May of 2015 a further economic survey was carried out with the first forty-five families who have had access to the Puducherry UDDTs for more than one year. The feedback makes for interesting reading, although neither organisation is claiming it is conclusive, as it will take several years to have a clearer picture.

THE FIGURES ARE IN THE ATTACHED SPREADSHEET AND ARE ROUNDED UP IN SOME CASES.

This attachment is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.


In basic terms, an average family has seen its income increase by approximately 34% and their medical expenses decrease by approximately 43%. They have turned a deficit of approximately 25% of their net income into a positive of almost 9%.

Wherever the Need UK is keen to show the monetary benefit on a local scale as part of it overall sanitation work.

David Crosweller, co-founder of WTN UK, said, “I believe this highlights a crucial area in the benefits of sanitation, especially in urban areas. People are able to work more because they have better health. Children are able to attend school more often. Both of these items will benefit the family, and improve the local and national economies. As time progresses we expect to be able to further validate this data and see other beneficial areas as well”.

Mr S Paramasivan, Country Director of Wherever the Need India Services, said, “The main objective of a sustainable sanitation system such as the ecosan (UDDT) toilet is to promote health and protect lives by ensuring a clean environment, leading to the breaking of disease transmission chain. The economic survey clearly shows that families using our UDDT system had fewer incidents of sanitation and water related illnesses that reduced spending on healthcare. Changing attitudes was a big challenge. An intensive hygiene education and awareness programme showing the relationship between sanitation habits and a family’s economic wellbeing, has brought about major changes”.

A smaller family sample relating to health issues and days lost at work or school was carried out in April 2015 (for the previous six months), and, as you would expect, reinforced the economic findings. Work and schools days lost to illness had fallen by 45% and 43% respectively, and people suffering from diarrhoea more than twice in the time period, had fallen from 53% to 12%.


Again, this is not regarded as conclusive, but is, nonetheless, very encouraging.

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

The following user(s) like this post: christoph
You need to login to reply
  • jankn
  • jankn's Avatar
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 21

Re: Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 41 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

Hi David

Indeed, those are very encouraging numbers and I hope that the full service will be up and running by fall this year; and continue to do so for may years to come.

It would be interesting to see, however, if it was possible in any way to add a control group to the economic and health study, to see how income/expenses and workdays-lost develop over time in families who do not use the facilities. I guess, the numbers would get more "conclusive" that way.

Also, do you know how the families coped with the average 220 USD loss (was this per month, year or study period?) before the intervention? Was is a general issue you saw across time and families or would you say this was governed rather by a few families with high losses or that had to pay some hefty bills in the first period of study which they didn't have to during the second part?

Jan Knappe

Doctoral Researcher on environmental performance assessment and modeling of on-site wastewater treatment systems
Trinity College Dublin & University of Limerick
Email: jan.knappe(at)tcd.ie, Twitter: @JanKnappe

You need to login to reply
  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 91
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 36

Re: Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 41 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

Thanks. We tend to find that when families are running at a loss they borrow money to make up the shortfall, repay it, and then borrow it again. It is like a cyclical, but continuous loan.
You need to login to reply
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 667
  • Karma: 22
  • Likes received: 156

Re: Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 45 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

Very impressive and interesting, David Alan.

Can you tell me if the participants had any access to soap for handwashing? I am interested in the impacts handwashing has vs provision of the UDDTs.
You need to login to reply
  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 91
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 36

Re: Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 45 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

Hello Joe, yes they did. As part of the overall 'package' we engage the community about hand washing with soap. We are going to embark on a survey of the same 45 families to try and narrow down usage. What we have generally observed is that they are washing their hands after using the toilet, but not necessarily before cooking. We will update once it is ready.
You need to login to reply
  • christoph
  • christoph's Avatar
  • Sanitary engineer with base in Brazil and Peru, doing consultancy in other countries of LA
  • Posts: 305
  • Karma: 19
  • Likes received: 143

Re: Puducherry Family Economic Survey (with 45 families who own UDDTs - Puducherry State, India)

Hello David,
congrats to these results. It is all we dream of when we work for sanitation. It must have been a nightmare to get these data?? as the people do not tend to have a good register of how much they spend on everything and on how much they earn?? Because these data are so valuable, I would like to stress, that the methodology of getting the data is very well documented so that nobody can question the numbers and it is very important do clear out for everybody the level of accuracy. You pointed out that the data are preliminary and are ongoing research.

Looking forward to see more data and thank you for posting early results.

Regards
Christoph
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.927 seconds