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| Last Updated:11/06/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

Toilet use

The Hindu, 10 June 2014

 

The article, “The battle for toilets and minds” (June 9), brings out some astonishing facts and things about toilet use in rural India in addition to highlighting the need for proactive initiatives to change mindsets. It is also a reflection of government-sponsored sanitation programmes, where the result is measured only in terms of quantity (number of latrines). While coverage and numbers are important, what is more important is what happens before and after construction. Before construction commences, there should be an initiative to educate the target population. After construction, there should be follow-up measures to assess if utilisation is on target.

 

Another important factor is adaptability. Some years ago there was a drive to build dry latrines in Kerala, which did not succeed. This is because water forms an integral part of sanitation habits in Kerala.

 

Finally, the article deals with the “front end” of the toilet problem. There is also a “back end” — how sewage is treated and disposed of. Without scientific treatment of sewage, there is not much difference between using a toilet and practising open defecation. Unfortunately, septic tanks or centralised treatment facilities are nowhere in the scheme of things. Government-sponsored schemes usually use pit latrines, which in turn pollute water sources. Read More....