Bamboo lends itself to be in eco-friendly loo

A sketch of the bamboo toilet developed by the Auroville Bamboo Centre.— Photo: Special Arrangement  

After deriving music, health food and chic furniture from bamboo, a research centre in Auroville is now looking to promote eco-friendly toilets entirely made from the wonder grass.

The Auroville Bamboo Centre (ABC) led by Bala Sundaram has been pushing the envelope as far as possible in diversifying the range of bamboo products.

The research team at the Centre, which has developed over 100 bamboo-derived products, ranging from jewellery to toys and charcoal soap, has been focused on bamboo-based materials in the housing sector over the last few months.

Recently, the team developed a compost bamboo toilet which was both eco-friendly and low-cost. The model would be showcased at an international workshop at Kochi, Kerala, to be held from December 1 to 5.

The workshop on “Bamboo Toilets for Private and Community” is a joint initiative of the South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF) and Auroville Bamboo Centre with the support of the World Bamboo Organisation (WBO) and the Kerala Bamboo Mission of the Government of Kerala. The theme has been kept looking into the need for the country’s need for urban and rural sanitation requirements. The plan is to develop various models of public and community toilets using bamboo, natural, treated or engineered bamboo as construction materials.

Though from time immemorial, bamboo has been part of the housing scene, the advent of new building materials and increasing industrialisation has edged out the plant species from the construction sector. In fact, bamboo, once the housing mainstay of the rural and the poor population, is now the least used material.

The SABF and Auroville Bamboo Centre plan to train workers/artisans/companies/NGO on construction of bamboo toilets across the country with the support of WBO.

The ABC team hopes that bamboo compost toilets could not just revive the application of bamboo products in housing, but resolve the pressing sanitation and related health challenges confronting the country.

According to recent UN statistics, half of India’s population does not have access to toilets. Poor and inadequate sanitation accounts for various health-related issues causing economic and social losses. It is estimated that over a lakh government schools do not have toilets for girls, 1.52 lakh schools do not have toilets for boys, while 1.64 lakh schools have dysfunctional toilets with lack of the basic access contributing to high dropout rates.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 8:49:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/bamboo-lends-itself-to-be-in-ecofriendly-loo/article6580345.ece

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