A cost-sharing model is proving to be a better way of building household toilets and becoming an open defecation-free country.
A cost-sharing model is proving to be a better way of building household toilets and becoming an open defecation-free country. This has proved to be more efficient than the Swachh Bharat Mission’s installment model and contractor-led model being followed to achieve ODF targets. Shelter Associates (SA), an NGO based in Pune, showed how this can be done. The Municipal Corporations of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have adopted SA’s One Home One Toilet (OHOT) model to impact 2,50,000 individuals and are now scaling it at a city-wide level.
The data-driven, GIS mapping-backed, community-centric model has local government stakeholders’ engagement and a little help from Google Earth. This is what Shetler Associates has blended to hit the winning formula in building household toilets across urban sprawls. They have together built 7,000 toilets in the slums of Pune, Navi Mumbai, Ahmednagar and Kolhapur at a much faster pace and with better outcomes. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has boosted their model further and accelerated the pace of building toilets, says Pratima Joshi, co-founder and ED of Shelter Associates.
Joshi says under the cost-saving model, materials are delivered at the doorstop of the household in the slum and the family bears the cost of construction and responsibility of building the toilet is on them. And even those living in barely 100 sq ft of space have enthusiastically built toilets even if it meant positioning it right next to their kitchen space, adds Joshi.
A toilet is an aspiration they all have and the cost-sharing model creates a sense of ownership and pride, say Joshi. The launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission provided a boost to their efforts. Between 1993 and 2014, SA facilitated 2,939 household toilets. Between 2014 and 2016, it went up four times to 11,269 household toilets and impacted 3,60,000 individuals across Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kolhapur and Sangli.
According to Joshi, the doorstep delivery of construction materials serves as a huge incentive for people to carry out toilet construction within a few days and is very fast to scale compared with the conventional way. The delays caused by paperwork and issues of installment payments are avoided. The family signs an agreement with SA to complete building their toilet within 10 days after material is delivered. Material is supplied in two stages to avoid misuse.
Also, a sewerage network is a pre-condition to construct toilets under this model. Pune, with its extensive drainage network, made it easier to build these toilets. SA works at the ground level to collect all relevant data regarding hosueholds, water lines, sewerage networks and existing community toilet blocks, and integrates all this, says Joshi.
They create spatial data using GIS as well as Google Earth, mobilise communities across all age groups and genders and then focus on delivering household toilets through a cost-sharing model, says Joshi. They have used technology for mapping infrastructure and household surveys. They have been integrating data of GIS platforms, using Google Earth images as base maps and Kobo Collect, an Android-based open source platform with smartphone technology.
Take for example the largest slum of Balaji Nagar in Pimpri-Chinchwad, where they were able to facilitate 1,700 individual household toilets in one year and increase households having individual toilets from 2.2% to 77%.