Community Toilet Block Projects
As part of the community toilet block project, we identified the key factors that limit the effectiveness and sustainability of community toilets as a sanitation solution. This arose from an identification of the reasons why the community toilets in Pune and Sangli-Miraj were in a poor condition and were largely unused by their beneficiary communities:
- It was observed that most urban local bodies provided community toilet blocks as the only solution to address sanitation needs of the community. Pune and Sangli were no exception to this.
- Our citywide surveys of slums in Sangli in 2001 revealed that 77 out of 98 slums had no access to basic sanitation and were largely defecating in the open.
- Till the early 2000, over 70% of slum dwellers in Pune could use only community toilets, because many slums were not connected to the city‘s main sewage networks. Hence the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) opted for aqua-privy tanks which often cracked easily, allowing the raw sewage to leak out over the surrounding area.
- Once the area was soiled, the communities began to dump household waste, which attracted flies, mosquitoes and pigs and reduced the sanitary condition of the settlement.
- The PMC continues to bear the financial and maintenance burden of community toilets every year where large budgetary allocations are made just for their upkeep. In short, this is an ineffective and unsustainable endeavour which is high on capex and maintenance cost.
We have successfully implemented innovative sanitation projects in the cities of Pune, Sangli, and Miraj. The community toilets in Sangli and Miraj included accommodation for a caretaker and a biogas system. The system converts the gases generated by human excreta into a fuel source for the caretaker whose cookings needs were completely satisfied. Shelter Associates’ community toilets linked to biogas and built over a decade ago are still functioning well.
We have directly impacted close to 10,000 persons through our community toilet block projects. Below are some pdfs of our projects that you can download.