How can water and electricity be ensured in public toilets? (in India)

  • nityajacob
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How can water and electricity be ensured in public toilets

Dear all,

While designing public toilets, it is assumed that water and electricity will be always available. However, there are several instances where this has not happened even after the toilet block is connected to a water or electricity utility. How can this barrier be resolved? Any examples from India or abroad are welcome.

Thanks
Nitya
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  • AjitSeshadri
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Re: Reply for - How can water and electricity be ensured in public toilets or alternates given till it can be provided adequately .

Dear Members.

It is always an endevour by implmnter to ensure that all facilities are as far as possible provided and sustained viz. water, lighting,drainage, privacy-door,ventilation- etc..

But there are many obscure regions where it has not been possible. Even spaces are not allocated to make adequately sized toilets, they are cramped and not convenient. In these situations, such as these, at best the LBs ie Local Bodies can allocate a space in the open. duly secure located away from habitat homes with open areas for residents to carry out defecation. Only difference will be that the practice is a bit Controlled. And happening only at these allocated regions and not done everywhere and not maintained.

Now the spaces allocated are utilised for say 4 weeks and changed over to similar space for the next month as the earlier space is maintained.. night soil co composted and used as resource etc..

The set of spaces ie one in use & one being maintained clean are allotted for Men, Women, and others as decided by LBs. and kept in their control, till such time power and water become available.

A practice of COD ie Controlled Open Defecation is practiced under operational control of LBs.

At this instance of opportune time, when space amenities available. ideally the community toilet complex is planned and ensured that it is aptly operated and maintained.

Here using the toilets by residents would be the 'tell tale' proof that 'All is well'.

The notings are issued for doing social good in communities.

Well wishes. Prof Ajit Seshadri. Vels University. Chennai. INDIA.
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  • muench
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Re: Reply for - How can water and electricity be ensured in public toilets or alternates given till it can be provided adequately .

Dear Ajit,

It wasn't clear to me if you were describing a theoretical scenario or if this is actually taking place? Do you know of examples where this has happened?:

LBs ie Local Bodies can allocate a space in the open. duly secure located away from habitat homes with open areas for residents to carry out defecation. Only difference will be that the practice is a bit Controlled. And happening only at these allocated regions and not done everywhere and not maintained.

Now the spaces allocated are utilised for say 4 weeks and changed over to similar space for the next month as the earlier space is maintained.. night soil co composted and used as resource etc..


Where have you seen this and which local bodies would do this? I found it a bit surprising but I guess it's low cost and at least the Local Body is taking some responsibility. It reminds me a bit of what might be done for emergency sanitation (see also here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_sanitation )

--> Edit on 11 Aug: An answer to this question is provided by Ajit in this separate thread: forum.susana.org/india/22721-controlled-...communities-in-india


But let me come back to Nitya's original question:

While designing public toilets, it is assumed that water and electricity will be always available. However, there are several instances where this has not happened even after the toilet block is connected to a water or electricity utility. How can this barrier be resolved?


It's not quite clear to me what you mean. Do you mean services are connected but the utility is unable to provide water and elecricity on a regular basis? If that's the case then either the water and electricity supplier needs to be improved. Or you need to change over to a toilet that doesn't require water for flushing but uses rainwater harvesting for handwashing (if there is enough rain). Could electricity be generated onsite (solar panels), or too expensive/complex?

Reminds me a bit of Self-suppy for water and sanitation ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-supply_of_water_and_sanitation )

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Brisbane, Australia
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  • nityajacob
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Re: Reply for - How can water and electricity be ensured in public toilets or alternates given till it can be provided adequately .

Hi

I meant the agency that provides water and power needs to discharge its functions. There are some attempts at waterless urinals but they have not been popular in India to my knowledge. Public toilets are made to use water, therefore water must be provided. In cases where NGOs have made them, they have worked very well for the duration of the project and thereafter, only some continue to be in operation.

RWH could be a source of water for toilets for a few months. The problem is building enough storage for the rainwater in crowded urban areas where these toilets are located. If there is another solution, I would love to hear it.

I am attaching a document on Gramalaya's model in Trichy that is widely held up as a success story. Perhaps this will take the debate forward.
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Nitya
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