Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

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  • pkjha
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Linus
I know the Eco San project in Bihar well and had discussion with Cecilia whenever she visited Delhi. Such project is most suited for high ground water table areas as there is no chance of contamination of ground water at all. But to make it culturally acceptable for most of the people, proper awareness is required as people use water for cleaning and flushing. I am giving one such option under the project and will be happy to implement EcoSan toilets in some households in the targeted village.

regards

Pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
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  • linusdagerskog
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Pawan,
Great that you will be working on high water table solutions in Bihar. As you mentioned, there was a "sustainable sanitation" project in Bihar, coordinated by colleagues at SEI (Kim Andersson and Cecilia Ruben) and Prakash Kumar at WASHi. I think it would be really interesting to learn some lessons from post-project sustainability of these different Bihar pilots.
Kim Andersson at SEI made a post to the forum with all the fact-sheets produced after the project in 2014:
forum.susana.org/175-urine-reuse-or-infi...-agricultural-trials
The long term composting toilet might be interesting to continue adapt and improve on?
Best
Linus

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  • pkjha
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear David
UDDT is already a recognised technology by the Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, Government of India. The book on Technical Options for on-site Sanitation, released by the Ministry ( written by me) mentions in detail its advantages and applicability. However, under the present financial support of INR 12000 per household toilets, by the Ministry, it is too difficult to construct such toilets. Most of the households do not agree to bear the over and above cost. Such households construct single leach pit toilet. However, the guidelines does not approve it; neither it is included in the above book. Such single pits are being constructed even in high ground water table and flood affected areas without considering pollution of ground water. There is almost complete lack of monitoring and regulation in implementing toilet technologies.
I have information about implementation of UDDT in Pudducherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states at larger scales and NGOs involves with the projects have done a lot of awareness and motivation. SCOPE has implemented a some community toilets based on UDDT in Tamil Nadu state. In some flood affected areas in Bihar also such toilets were implemented with the help from SIWI. However, it could not be replicated perhaps due to lack of proper commitment and or financial support.

best regards

Pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Pawan, I would suggest you get in touch with my colleagues at Wherever the Need India in Pudducherry. We have constructed thousands of UDDTs in a high water table area of Cuddalore District and many communities are ODF. We have over 90% usage and the construction it is expected to last thirty years. We have eased back on our construction of family units because previously we could claim the subsidy from the Govt directly, but now this is paid to the family and that makes the system much more difficult.

I am afraid to say that unless you can get the highest level of Govt to accept UDDTs it will be difficult for this to be supported by municipalities, who stick to the technologies designated by Govt.

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  • pkjha
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Chris
UDDT is one of the better options for high ground water table and flood affected areas. However, most of the people in the targeted areas use water for cleaning and flushing and therefore, dry toilets are not culturally acceptable for them. Further, they are of the opinion that such toilets have some obnoxious smell. Proper awareness and motivation is required to make such toilet acceptable to them. Presently I am trying to implement affordable household pour flush toilets for high water table and flood affected areas.
There is financial incentive of INR 12000 (US$ 177) per household toilet from the government. The amount is not sufficient to construct a toilet. Over and above cost is borne by the beneficiaries. Depending on toilet design, such cost varies between INR 5000 to INR 12,000. Households of lower socio-economic stratum are mostly unable to bear such cost for a sustainable toilet. Moreover, one can get financial support from the government only after getting his/ her toilet fully constructed. Such community normally hesitates to construct toilets and prefer to defecate in open.
Since the project is partially supported by the WASTE, it was decided to select a small hamlet of households mostly living Below Poverty Line and can’t afford over and above cost for a toilet after the government subsidy. Households are encouraged to get only superstructure of toilet constructed under the government fund. Substructure is provided under the support from the WASTE. Our objective is to make such community Open Defecation Free and demonstrate technologies at mass scale to make aware other higher group of people to adopt the models for high ground water table areas.
It appears derogatory to use the term of socially and economically backwardness. However, even for different schemes of subsidy by the government, such criteria are mostly used for identification of beneficiaries.

Best regards
Pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha

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  • canaday
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Pawan,

What options are being considered for these high-water-table areas? I have experience building UDDTs in flood-prone areas, such as here (with English text at the bottom):
inodoroseco.blogspot.com/2009/05/inodoro...-zonas-de-altas.html

(On a side note, I would recommend that we use nicer terms than "economically and socially backward". Maybe one could say "low-income neighborhoods with low levels of formal education"? Why was this demographic specifically looked for?)

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday
Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com

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  • pkjha
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Dear Dean and Geoff
Sorry for the late response of your query. I was struggling to find a small hamlet of around 50 households in flood prone areas, with high ground water table in rural areas in Bihar state, where open defecation is still prevalent and households did not get any financial support from the government for the construction of toilets. Objective is to select community who are economically and socially backward. Selection of hamlet was required to be done in consultation with the local government. It is quite challenging to work with the local government in rural areas. Finally I got one such hamlet only last week in Supaul district Bihar. Detail mapping of households in term of feasibility of technical options of toilets is being carried out.
Photographs and design of toilets will be sent once toilets are implemented in households and tested. It has not been started yet. I hope to get the construction work started in next month with the help of local partner NGO. All the households in the hamlet will be provided with toilets under the project.
Best

Pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha

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  • ggrevell
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Pawan, please let me also voice interest in learning more about the solutions you mentioned for high water tables. It's a topic in which we're very interested for rural Cambodia.
----
Geoff Revell
watershedasia.org | happytap.net

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  • goeco
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

This topic is not about water use, nor about UDDT's, but pour flush pit latrines... thus acceptance of water for flushing. It is about acknowledgement of the problem of groundwater contamination and deployment of technical solutions.

This topic also acknowledges the benefits of the new sato diverter. In that context I would argue that fecal sludge will no longer be a problem and and emptying the pits is no longer a safety issue because users will not "directly connect both pits" and will only need to remove aged humus. The key issue that could justify sewered toilets is the potential for groundwater contamination. This issue may also be resolved with other technologies, such as what I have suggested above.

Pawan, thank you for acknowledging that India requires regulatory intervention to limit construction of pits to areas without high water tables. Could you please outline the sustainable technology being proposed where water tables are too high for pits?

cheers
Dean
Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Vermifilter.com
www.vermifilter.com

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  • washjfp
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Hi David,
this sounds like would be a fun conversation to have in person... but I don't have time to answer all your points properly online!
But as I said, the main point for me is to approach sanitation creatively rather than sticking to the norm, I am not 'for' or 'against' any solution. (therefore not trying to suggest piped sanitation will fit everywhere!).
Have a look at the Orangi Pilot project (if you don't already know about it) as an example of a great project resulting in low cost piped sewerage for the poorest people!
Regards, Jemma
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  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

Jemma, you will forgive me, how will that function in Cape Town where there is a major water crisis? In Tamil Nadu where we work there is an issue with water every single year. Northern India is exhausting its acquifer at an alarming rate.

If you're lucky 'zenrainman' won't see the thread and give you an in depth lecture on the issues of water in India.

Then, on another tack, how will this service be paid for? One of the reasons that no piped systems are considered is because of water usage and treatment plant costs, and who will pay for them? It is not those with money that don't have a toilet, it is those without money.

As a non-profit I don't want to be involved in systems that adds to the burden of the poor, I want to help alleviate that poverty so they can live their lives fully. Maybe in the long-term this could be sewer systems, but in the short-term for poor people it is a step too far.

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  • washjfp
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Re: Twin pit pour flush latrines in India - is it timely to call into question the design and operating principles?

UDDTs are a great example of thinking of solutions for the problems faced rather than doing what is the norm! :-)
Obviously piped water is an example of an outcome that wont be suitable in all settings! But in plenty of urban settings where other parts of the city has piped water it shouldn't be beyond consideration!
Regards, Jemma

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