Pause before pushing more people to ODF


  • satyagrahi
  • Topic Author
  • Founder of the Peer Water Exchange, the place where projects, funding decisions, and results are open source. PWX is where peers collaborate and share about projects and help steer funding into improved projects.
  • Posts: 17
  • Likes received: 5

Re: Pause before pushing more people to ODF

Elisabeth wrote: Rajesh:
Regarding controlled open defecation on Wikipedia: I would first add a paragraph into the existing Wikipedia article on "open defecation". Which existing reference/publication/website/newspaper article could I use? I am not allowed to use this forum as a citation. ;-)


Dear Elisabeth,

The first time i heard the term COD was when Prof. Ajit Seshadri mentioned it on 5th July 2019 in this thread.

I just did a couple of searches and found these 2 sites which have the same diagram on COD:
with the latter one providing a source: HARVEY, P. A., BAGHRI S. and REED, R. A. 2002. Emergency Sanitation: Assessment and Programme Design. Loughborough, UK: WEDC, Loughborough University

They point to COD's use in emergency situations only and require a person present full-time and with protective clothing.

Their design of COD facilities is thought thru but without examples of its use in the past and i could not find any reference to it post publication.

The first article mentions the most critical area: gender segregation. One could design gender segregation in space (2 facilities) or time (separate timings for each gender).

There needs to be more thought put into the importance of climate in COD. In hot or sunny climate, one could continue this community practice forever. In the rainy season, one would need to adapt more rapid shifting.

And of course, there needs to be some research to help actual operations in terms of how much time is recommended before changing areas, across different conditions. This topic is extremely important as it defines the transition from manual scavenging (and untouchability) and sanitation work (and livelihood).

It is unlikely that we can get one number (like 72 hours) for all situations or a technical description that one can use in the field. It will have to be something implementable thru observation. One could try to use the current local, practice of using cowdung and double the time as a hueristic to start with.

Executive Director
Peer Water Exchange
The following user(s) like this post: AjitSeshadri
You need to login to reply
  • AjitSeshadri
  • AjitSeshadri's Avatar
  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions, Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Environment Consultant located at Chennai, India
  • Posts: 157
  • Likes received: 29

Re: Pause before pushing more people to ODF

Dear SuSanA Members- Elisabeth, Rajesh
I do mention that the term COD- Controlled Open Defecation,  could be that I had mentioned it on 5th July 2019 in this thread.
But many months before too, I had indicated that during Kerala floods in 2017, local NGO, with Police protection and Youth volunteers support  had made temporary arrangement for doing Open Defecation which has been done in open during flood times, and before the situation was normalised.
Similar floods occurred in 2018 also and more organised manner the NGOs had made the same COD- arrangement.
On this occasion the solid sludges were removed and co-composted and safely dealt with. 

Another occurrence to mention-  On the occasion of Maha Kumbh at Prayag ( year ..  ), Allahabad, here too similar type of arrangement ie open defecation was done in cubicles but those boxes were placed in open, the solid sludges were reportedly  removed  and co-composted and safely dealt with. - This was reported in a Report by a Lead Institute- CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
However, Members may note that, what I was trying to put forward is that COD mechanism has worked in emergency condition and with some detailed planning can be evolved as the practices for communities to follow with revisions done as deemed fit at various location, times Etc. 

The modified practices can be documented and applied for usage in more regular and more orderly manner for benefit of all.
GoI ie Indian Govtt. has passed strictures that OD would not be practiced and instead  Toilet facilities made and  to be used by all communities. On these guidelines toilets are planned and built for use by communities.

But there have been many problems, for proper toilets newly made to be functional. In these instances, communities are left without any basic facility and face hardship.  In these times of this predicament, communities can be made to follow OD in controlled manner, till situation is normalised. This would prevent communities revert back to OD done as before in dis organised way, causing nuisance in public. 

Members are requested give a thought to these suggestions given by me and offer comments as they feel fine.
The above notings issued in the social and environmental interest of the communities in the respective habitat. 
well wishes,
Prof Ajit Seshadri, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, New Delhi - NGO.
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Senior Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Environment Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others) Chennai, India
You need to login to reply
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.210 seconds