Why is this important?
About 6000 people die from preventable deseases which are caused by dirty water and poor sanitary conditions each day. The mayority of water related deaths concern our youngest: the children. 80% of diseases in the developing world are water-induced and 780 million people do not have access to clean drinking water. Approximately twice as many people lack the most basic sanitation.
In India alone, more than 670 million people have to do their “business” out in the open. This represents 72% of the total population. It is particularly drastic in slums in major metropolitan areas such as Mumbai, Bangalore or New Delhi.
An example is the East Mumbai slum. Unlike many other slums, there exist toilets. A total of 18 toilets (8 for women, 10 for men) are available for 50,000 inhabitants. Waiting times of over an hour and unsanitary conditions are the rule. Many slum dwellers to the 2 rupees (4 cents) do not use fee.
Why dry toilets?
A dry toilet avoids drinking water pollution by means of s simple system where faeces do not get in contact with water and will be included in a process of recycling.
The project in Darewadi uses UDDTs (Urine Diverting Dry Toiletsystems). These toilets are available in western and eastern variations. The design of the UDDT squat toilet makes it possible to have a separate collection of urine and faeces. Due to the waterless operation, there is no odour in the cabins and two resources with financial worth are collected. On one hand the sterile urine can be used as liquid manure with water in a ratio of 1:8, because it contains important plant nutrients like phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen. On the other hand the faeces can be used as organic manure by treating it through long-term thermo composting. Additional provisions like fly-screens, ventilation pipes, protective clothing, a roof rail, training, information signs and constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment will enable the project to be sustainable.
Dry toilets are very flexible and due to their high mobility and simple construction they are a good fit for regions which are not easily accessed. No waste water connection is needed, so they can be used in refugee camps, in informal settlements, dry regions and regions in danger of flooding. Women and children profit by this technology, because they can go to toilet in a secure environment, in private and there will be no more open defecation. The stream of polluted water by faeces into the surface water and into ground water will decrease and the quality of the drinking water will increase.
Garade lies south of Mumbai in the district of the city of Pune, which has about 5 Million residents. Pune is a university city and is sometimes called the Oxford of the East. The University of Pune has about 500 000 students. Pune is also a theatre and performing arts city and has a recognized film school.
Our project will be realized in the hamlet of Darewadi. This area is very hot and dry, particularly in Winter, with an average temperature of 38° C in March. The reason for that is that the rainy summer monsoon from southwest is diverted by the Dekkan mountain range. The valley in which Darewadi is located is similar to a “death valley” from February to May. Unlike Mumbai, there is scarcity of water being the main reason we chose it as a site for a a dry toilet system. There are 22 private owners of wells in Garade and the trade of water to the other 3 000 inhabitants results in constant conflicts about the scarce water resources. In addition the soil is very sandy and rocky, meaning bad fertility and poor yields.
Darewadi itself consists of four parts and has around 600 Inhabitants. There are 75 families, of which just 26 have their own toilet. There is a demand of another 49 toilets for this village. Of these 49 families, there are 18 who have contracted with the ESF and will have UDDTs (Urine Diverting Dry Toilet systems). The other 10 households will sign a contract soon, so that we need to reach the remaining 21 families and convince them of the benefits of dry toilets. The more families participate the more effective can be the conservation of scarce drinking water.
The farmers use chemical fertilizer and pesticides for the current crop production, which pollute the reservoir used for irrigation. The groundwater is probably also charged with pesticides, so the drinking water is, notwithstanding the high price, dirty. Earlier projects by the ESF showed that the UDDTs can generate funds through the use of organic manure created by treating the urine and faeces.
Darewadi also has a primary school with 40 pupils. They are currently being trained by the ESF and will be integrated into the project through mapping, street plays, walks, school films and drawing contests. In addition we will endeavour to establish workgroups for gardening and hygiene.
The Ecosan Services Foundation will take care of the dry toilets even after completion and do long-term monitoring. This entails intensive one-year supervision of the owner of the dry toilets, regular training and supervision of the composting process.
Until 2014 the ESF will be available for questions and support them by resolving problems.
As project manager and initiator of the dry toilet project in Darewadi it was very exciting for me to document and analyze the current developments, existing problems and of course also to observe the positive influences of the dry-toilets. During the 6 weeks project visit in Pune we discussed the current situation with our partner the Ecosan Services Foundation and spoke about the next steps. Besides we had regular consultations between German Toilet Organization, the Guts For Change Team and all other Members of Non-Water Sanitation e.V.. The communication was very essential and also helpful for the successful project implementation.
The questions which now probably appear in your minds might be:
What happened to the donations? How many UDDTs have been completely constructed? Are the toilets actually used?
These questions and my personal experiences will be summarized now.
First of all an overview about the current financial planning:
So far € 13,500 have been donated
First step – 5.000 € (April 2012-March 2013)
The first 5000 € have been transferred to the Ecosan Services Foundation with the objective that in March 2013 ten UDDTs will be constructed.
The first project phase is for our association and also the German Toilet Organization reinsurance whether the project and cooperation with our partners is working well. Furthermore it was important for us to identify potential problems in the partnership and develop adaptation strategies.
Second Step – 5.000 € (April 2013 – November 2013)
The GTO has applied for a German governmental programme called Bengo. If accepted in the selection process it would be possible for us to receive up to 25,000 € for our project in Darewadi. Another share of 5000 € needs to be contributed from our side. The final decision will be taken in the next two-three weeks. That money would then be transferred to the ESF. The task of ESF would be to spend the money directly in Darewadi for further activities describes in the project plan which was handed in. Besides the construction of toilets the current project plan also contains software activities like hand wash program and menstrual hygiene management. All investments need to be spent till November 2013 as a requirement of the BMZ (Federal ministry for economic, cooperation and development). GTO will be responsible for project execution and point of contact for the BMZ. The ESF and NWS will still be involved into the contract. If all works out well 20-25 UDDTs could be finished till November 2013.
Third Step – 3.500 € (April 2013- 2014)
If we receive those 25.000€ from the Bengo application, we could invest the rest of the donations to other social projects like to our school-toilet project at the Adhiavsi Ashramsala Residential School in India. If not the whole money raised from Guts For Change will be spent in Darewadi.
Fourth Step (continuously)
We organize more and more fundraising events and furthermore trying to find new investors.
The documentary Guts For Change and your support helps us to organize some events in India and Germany to raise even more funds for additional dry-toilets in the rural area in India.
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First Step – Experiences from the first project phase
Since more than four weeks I have been in India and therefore visited Darewadi many times.
The current construction situation is, that until now six UDDTs are completely constructed and have been used since 4 months. The other four dry toilets will be completed in April 2013!
There are some reasons, why 4 toilets are still in the progress of construction.
1. Geographically related difficulties
Water scarcity and power outages in the dry season lead to delays in the construction process. During the dry period between February and May and therefore limited water resources no concrete can be mixed. Furthermore that period of the year is very hot. Working during the day is very exhausting for construction workers and therefore not always possible. The monsoon from June-September also leads to more delays in the construction process. Transportation of construction materials becomes hard due to flooded streets. Furthermore the opportunity to dry materials is very rare. Strong winds have also influenced the progress negatively.
2. Culturally related difficulties
After the end of the monsoon the Indian festival season is practiced. Those festivals which are mainly held during September and December have a significant importance for the culture but might lead to changing priorities in daily life. During this time it is difficult to reach the village population or to make sure that construction work is continued.
3. Rise in commodity prices
Material costs have in the meanwhile risen significantly.
The reason for that development is that due to the above mentioned reasons the construction company could not finish the work in the expected timeframe. In the meanwhile prices for raw materials like bricks, steel and other materials have increased because of a rise of taxes on behalf of the Indian government. An internal conflict within ESF as our local partner has appeared. The actual price per UDDT was set with about 23,000 Rupees (340 € per UDDT). After increase of prices the same UDDT would now cost about 30,000 Rupees (430 € per UDDT). After discussion between all stakeholders the ESF decided to bare all the costs for the remaining UDDT’s, also due to contractual agreements which have been made before.
4. Rural location of the project
Because of the rural area where Darewadi is located it has been very hard to identify a suitable construction company for the UDDT’s. There are hardly any rural companies which are also willing to work at the rates which ESF is offering to them. The one company which is currently available and working for ESF is quiet small and has just 4 workers. This fact leads to a dependence of the ESF to the construction company. The company has unfortunately a monopoly position in the area which has lead to some problems in the cooperation. It is very difficult for ESF to hire another construction company due to the location of village. To hire urban firms would also be very expensive because you would have to take the workers to the construction area daily which also raises costs.
All the above mentioned reasons are responsible for the delay of the construction progress, but not for the quality of the work done so far.
We are very happy with the quality of the so far constructed UDDT’s and the villager’s response of it. More and more villagers are interested to get an UDDT and benefits which they bring to families and farmers have been acknowledged.
Mr. Panse chief of Ecosan Services Foundation has decided the following steps:
ESF has to ensure that the remaining toilets will be built in the agreed budget as soon as possible. There won’t be additional charges for the completion of the 4 remaining UDDTs. The ESF is responsible to complete the first phase of the project.
Both partners ESF and NWS are now looking for a new construction company for the following project steps. Therefore the idea is develop some strategies which will motivate the company to finish work in the conducted timeframe. Some options could be bonus payments for early completion or the insurance of future commissions. Furthermore we are trying to involve more villagers in the actual construction work. First of all that will raise villager’s commitment towards the project even more. Another point is that villagers would receive a free training in construction work which might later on be help for them with other work. Involving the villagers will on the other hand also help the project to save some money.
How are the first 10 UDDTs used?
Shataram Dada Wadkar has already used monthly 3 * 35 liters of urine to fertilize his fields of wheat and thus achieves a double of income. Kerba Dada Wadkar has recognized a positive growth for his pea plants which are now 30 cm higher than before. Popat Dada Wadkar also used urine as fertilizer at his 1000 m² farmland. The use of urine became very normal for him and also neighbors have a positive attitude towards it now. Some households in the vicinity of UDDT families, are now also interested in getting a dry separation toilet. The main motivation to get UDDTs is to use the urine as a fertilizer because the area is depending on the agriculture. The other three families have not used the urine so far. They are collecting the urine now and will wait using it till the upcoming rainy season. Some owners of UDDT’S have the idea to sell some of their urine. Currently the output of urine is not yet enough for selling because farmers are using all urine by themselves but that might be a future idea. We have also seen that the owners are taking good care of their UDDT’S because they are surprisingly clean and there is no problem of bad smell. The training has paid off.
Other project-related activities – Phase 1
What we (ESF/GTO/NWS and Guts For Change) have done:
• Awareness raisings campaigns from April 2012 till March 2013
• Contract negotiations with the community
• Training of masons
• Walk of Shame / Community mapping
• Assessment of the current health situation with about 100 participants of 38 households
• Agricultural Assessment situation in Darewadi with about 40 farmers
• Menstrual Hygiene Assessment with about 30 female participants
• Individual interviews with the UDDT owners, doctors and village leaders
• Assessment of properties in the village like water tanks, gutters, latrines
• Community meeting to presents results of assessments and right usage of UDDT’s
• Sampling of water and soil
• Video presentations at the elementary school students about the tour and the project
• Donations for villagers (globe, maps, football, soap, photos)
• Mapping of the entire village using GIS
• Standing Group Discussions
• Construction of a Tippy Taps
• Hygiene promotion and hygiene awareness raising
• Intercultural exchange (pictures, videos, paintings)
Everyone has a right to toilets! We are grateful for help and support of any kind.