Want to build a toilet?

The need for toilets (Source: Sourabh Phadke)
The need for toilets (Source: Sourabh Phadke)

The Government of Jharkhand has published a technical document in order to encourage the construction and usage of toilets in the state of Jharkhand. The manual begins with an introduction to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), a government programme to tackle open defecation in rural India. The basic principles of NBA include clean water, proper disposal of wastewater and also managing the waste created.

An average human being produces nearly 18 kg solid fecal matter in an year. If disposed in an improper manner through bucket/ dry latrines or open sewers, it can have a direct impact on the health of the individual as well as the community. The construction of hygenic, clean toilets such as eco-san toilets, leach pits and septic tanks are safe methods to improve the quality of life of people in rural areas.

The booklet clarifies this need for toilets, their hygienic neccessisity and the options available for construction. Some of the questions answered include:

  • How to build a toilet?
  • What materials are needed?
  • What must the dimensions be?
  • What precautions should be taken?
  • What should the depth of the septic tank be?
  • What should the dimensions of the pipes be?

Photographs and pictures simplify the design criteria given. Estimates for the construction of model toilets along with a break up of the costing is given for better understanding. Construction can also be carried out under the MNREGA scheme, the cost of which comes to around Rs 10,000.

An essential read for both panchayats and individuals, the document acts as a source of information and provides guidance not only for the construction of toilets but also for their maintainence.

Download the book  'A technical hand-book on design and construction of toilets', Government of Jharkhand, below.

Lead image source: Sourabh Phadke in CONRADIN, K., KROPAC, M., SPUHLER, D. (Eds.) (2010): The SSWM Toolbox. Basel: seecon international gmbh.                                     URL: http://www.sswm.info