Musiri Selection Grade Town Panchayat

முசிறி தேர்வு நிலை பேரூராட்சி

The winning entry in the ecosan toilet beauty contest conducted in tsunami-hit Kameshwaram village in Nagapattinam

Posted by musiri on July 14, 2007

The winning entry in the ecosan toilet beauty contest conducted in tsunami-hit Kameshwaram village in Nagapattinam district on July 14, 2007.

The winning entry in the ecosan toilet beauty contest conducted in tsunami-hit Kameshwaram village in Nagapattinam district on July 14, 2007.

Sanitation has indeed been an issue, initially in the temporary shelters and then in most permanent habitats. There has been some experimentation too, sometimes at the expense of the victims. Sanitation, both in terms of solid and liquid waste management in the tsunami habitats, was considered a major area that needed to be addressed. In fact, improving sanitation in the tsunami shelters is the biggest challenge now. For one thing, fishermen had never used toilets before. The sea and coastline was their open toilet.

Accommodating tens of thousands of fishermen families into temporary shelters was a major challenge. A host of NGOs adopted a multi-pronged strategy to promote the concept of sanitation. The focus was on creating a demand for better sanitation. The results, though slow to come, are now apparent. The ecosan model, promoted by SCOPE, a Tiruchi-based NGO, at Kameshwaram village in Nagapattinam district is cited as one of the successful models by the UNDP document. The village has since been awarded the Nirmal Puraskar award for achieving 100 per cent sanitation.

Given the high water table in the coastal village, pit latrines, the only model available, was not considered suitable. The ecosan dry toilet model is considered highly suitable for such places. SCOPE has already pioneered the model in villages along the Cauvery river in the Musiri region of Tiruchi. Under the ecosan system, urine and faeces are separated and diverted at source. A modified pan is built to collect the faeces in a chamber below the pedestal unit, and urine is collected separately in a container. The wash water is led into a filter bed outside the toilet. Ash, lime or soil is sprinkled after every use. The faeces are left to compost and transform into a safe fertiliser. The urine can be treated separately and also used for irrigation.

SOURCE : THE HINDU

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