Puducherry

Affordable toilets planned for rural poor

Acouple releases the tiger worm into one of the twin pits of a toilet.

Acouple releases the tiger worm into one of the twin pits of a toilet.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

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Each toilet to cost ₹20,000; govt. to provide ₹12,000, NGO ₹5,000 as subsidy; the rest to be borne by beneficiaries

In an effort to help prevent open defecation and to ensure affordable and sustainable sanitation for households in flood-prone areas in Cuddalore district, a non-governmental organisation has come up with an eco-friendly toilet that quickly converts human waste into vermicompost.

BLESS, an NGO, with the technical and financial support of OXFAM, is creating awareness among the people of Keerapalayam panchayat about the advantages of tiger worm toilets that convert human waste into vermicompost in an odourless and eco-friendly manner.

Major pollutant

Human waste has been identified as a leading source of water pollution in India by the Ministry of Urban Development.

Cost-effective solution: L.S. Anthony Samy, executive director of BLESS, explaining the functioning of a tiger worm toilet at Kizhalinjipattu panchayat in Cuddalore district. At right, a couple releases the tiger worm into one of the twin pits of a toilet.

Cost-effective solution: L.S. Anthony Samy, executive director of BLESS, explaining the functioning of a tiger worm toilet at Kizhalinjipattu panchayat in Cuddalore district. At right, a couple releases the tiger worm into one of the twin pits of a toilet.  

 

A major challenge in sanitation is the collection, treatment and disposal or reuse of sludge that is generated from pit latrines and septic tank.

“The tiger worm toilet is not only cost-effective but sustainable and facilitates the worms to transform human waste into fertilizer. The technology has been proved effective in disaster-prone and flood-prone areas like Cuddalore,” L.S. Anthony Samy, executive director of BLESS, told The Hindu.

The eco-friendly toilets were first promoted in 22 households in Kizhalinjipattu panchayat. OXFAM improvised upon the technology and introduced these toilets in 50 more households at Mangankulam, Akramangalam and Pillaiyarkulam in Keerapalayam panchayat. The cost of a tiger worm toilet is ₹20,000. Of this, ₹12,000 would be provided as subsidy by the government under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, ₹5,000 as subsidy from the NGO while the cost of sand and other requirements would have to be borne by the beneficiaries, Mr. Samy said.

The tiger worm toilet worked well even in areas with moderate water table and is similar to the twin pit toilet system.

At the time of commissioning of the toilet, three baskets of fresh cow dung is laid over the sand in the pit. About one kg of tiger worms are released into the pit.

Best global practice

Recommended as a best global practice by the United Nations, the twin pit toilet is constructed by creating two pit holes around the toilet. One remains functional while the other is closed until the pit in operation is filled up.

Mr. Samy said the decomposition in a tiger worm toilet took 60 days as against two years in a conventional twin pit toilet. The worms reproduce at a faster rate with increasing quantity of waste to feed making them self-sustaining.

According to a senior official, the Cuddalore district administration planned to build 200 such toilets in a block in the district.

Three village panchayats have been selected and the work would commence shortly.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 9:54:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/affordable-toilets-planned-for-rural-poor/article24256413.ece

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