Bamboo Toilet: An economic and easy step towards ending open defecation
Shashi and several other women from small and marginal landholder farmer families of village Kudwa no longer step out to defecate in open. This has been made possible due to the successful and replicable model of “Bamboo Toilets” developed by GEAG which has helped build 5 such toilets in the village while inspiring many others to adopt the technology.
The process started when GEAG team was implementing a sustainable agriculture and livelihood based programme for small and marginal farmers of village Kudwa, Jungle Kauriya Block of Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh. When the communities started discussing their fundamental problems, lack of household toilets in the village emerged as a major issue due to which the village was still grappling with the problem of open defecation and a filthy village environment. GEAG project team took the charge; they adopted trigger approaches to sanitation behaviour change (CLTS), encouraged and supported communities to construct toilets and end open defecation. And the results of this motivation and large scale awareness turned out to be very fruitful. A transition was observed when people started digging up pits in their houses to construct toilets, collating local resources for economic toilets and conducting regular cleaning drives after every 15 days in their village.
To further encourage and support the community initiative towards ODF village, GEAG developed the easy and economical model of bamboo toilets which can be constructed with an expenditure of Rs 5500/- only with minimum labour and other input materials. Initially, 5 toilets were built in those houses which dug up the pits to construct toilets. These easy to use toilets were constructed in 2-3 days and inspired not only the people of Kudwa village but also several other people from the surrounding villages who witnessed this process.
I heaved a sigh of relief when this bamboo toilet was constructed in my house. Now there is no fear. There is no need of waking up early in the morning and late in the night to head to the fields to defecate.