Dry solution

Thirty houses in Mosrahalla village in Karnataka's Mysore district have been using dry toilets for a year. "This is a water-scarce area and installing dry toilets was the only way out,' says S Vishwanath, who was part of an advisory team to TSC.

A dry toilet works on the principle of source separation of urine and faeces which are collected in separate containers. Urine is removed every three days, faecal matter once in six months. "People are comfortable managing their waste. One year into the project it is functioning fine,' says Vishwanath. "The next step is to utilise this waste in the fields. Tying together ecological sanitation and field fertiliser use will ensure non-pollution of water sources and sustainable solutions to the management of human waste.'

The dry toilet is overground, eliminating underground pipes. It allows people to repair it and uses little water. "In places with a high water table such as coastal and riverside areas, it is imperative to use dry toilets because a soak pit is unviable. But that doesn't mean we have to restrict use to these areas. In dry regions, these can be deployed because they use little water,' says A K Singh, CEO, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.

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