Staff Training on Water and Sanitation

April 25, 2012

Staff Training on Water and Sanitation

Dates: 2-4 April 2012

Resource Agency: SCOPE Trichy

The Objective of training programme:

  • Motivation of the participants to take up toilet construction, and related matters on a systematic and scientific manner.

  • Understanding of different modules of toilet, so as to help them monitor construction of different of toilets, and also usage practices of different models, with dos and don’ts.

  • Improve the capacity of supervisory staff to monitor construction and usage of the toilets at regular intervals and to know the usage practices and corrects them if needed at household level.

  • The supervisory staff and animators should visit the community at least once a month immediately after construction and when the family starts using the toilet.  The first month is the most critical period, when the users may commit some mistakes, and if not corrected may not use it at all, since it is a new toilet.  For the first 15 days, every house holder should be visited by the staff.  Thereafter once a month the staff should visit the family and encourage them to ensure that all in the house use the toilets and all of them use the same correctly.

  • In the case of ECOSAN supervision and monitoring is more important during the construction and first month of usage, since this is a new model and people hence will not know how to construct or use it.  Daily visit to each household is very important.  Once these family members learn to use the toilet properly, a visit a month is sufficient for the next nine months.  When the first chamber is about to get full, and has to be closed a visit is necessary to ensure proper closure of the first chamber, and commencement of the use of the second chamber.

  • Next important visit time is opening of the first chamber for taking out the compost about two years from time of first usage commencement of the first chamber.



Figure 2- Construction of ECOSAN Unit During Capacity Building Workshop. Mr.Subburaman and Mr.Ganapathy from SCOPE explain

April 2nd : 1st Day

On the inaugural day, (April 2nd) Mr. S.K. Singh , Director of SAMBAV described the general sanitation scenario in the villages and towns of the State.  It being a very dry District, people paid less attention to hygiene, and sanitation, mostly because of ignorance.  They had much higher priorities. They were not aware of the linkage between health and economic development.  SAMBAV who been in the field of community development, and micro-finance has now entered  the field of sanitation.  A basic programme on sanitation was held about nine months ago, to the SAMBAV staff.  Now to equip the field and supervisory staff of various aspects of sanitation, the three days training programme was organized.

Mr. M. Subburaman, Director SCOPE, and V. Ganapathy, Liaison Officer, SCOPE of Trichy the resource persons, introduced themselves and this was followed by self introduction by all the participants for the programme.

A questionnaire to find out the basic knowledge  on sanitation was given to participants and the replies given indicated that they had a some idea on different toilet models.

The session was titled “ Sanitation Scenario” and “toilet Models” The resource persons explained about the general sanitation scenario,  with specific reference to rural areas.  Due to ignorance, open defecation was being practiced widely in rural  areas.  The mindset of the people had to be changed to make them accept spot defecation as different from open defecation.

This was followed by Power Point Presentation on hand washing to prevent oral transmission of dangerous virus and disease producing germs into human system.  Quite a few participants responded that they had known about the  hand washing.  They were  asked to demonstrate the right method of hand washing. In the afternoon the second session started with an animation film produced by Finish on sanitation. The film highlighted the dangerous of open defecation and  the role of toilet, the primary barrier to prevent contamination of surface, and groundwater as well as soil to ensure good health.

The  next session was devoted to different type on toilets, namely shallow pit, Direct pit, Direct pit with pan, Single pit, leach pit toilet, twin leach pit model, septic tank model, their plus and minus points of the different models. The construction methods, dos and don’ts, of different model of toilets, both during construction stage, and also usage practices were explained. 

The participants were keen to know more about the construction and usage practices of the single and twin pit latrines, since the area of their operation was basically a dry belt with scanty rainfall.  The sanitation ladder showing the progress of toilet models from open defecation to ECOSAN Urine Diversion Toilet was keenly appreciated by the participants.

SCOPE also showed the bio-gas linked toilet, bio-gas linked wet toilet model, etc. and their advantages.  The last session dealt with offsite sanitation, the underground drainage system.  The high investment, detailed planning, execution  with high degree of efficiency  the need for large quantity of water for the successful functioning of the system were explained pros and concept of the model.

The participants at end of the session  wanted to know more about the pit latrines, construction of pits with honeycomb, site selection etc., since they were living in a dry area where pit latrines, wood work efficiently.  After detailed explanation, they were asked to draw pit latrine, construction process, including , length, depth, honeycombing methods of construction, need for alternate rows of fixing bricks, with enough space in between. The top three layers were not honeycomb method since they had to be strong without caving in during rainy season.  There was also no need for vent pipe for pit latrines.

April 3rd : 2nd Day

After a recap of the first day’s sessions, the second day started with a detailed presentation on Ecosan toilet, its advantages, disadvantages, usage practices, cost of construction, usage of urine, compost on agriculture, research by using urine, and compost, etc.  The establishment of urine bank, extraction of struvite (nutrients in urine in powder form) by New Delhi IIT with UNICEF funding was also explained.  The video clipping on construction of Ecosan toilet, opening of the individual toilet and removal of compost, which had no smell, and the community participation by organizing festival for celebrating toilets in their homes in Kameswaram village near Nagapattinam devastated by Tsunami helped the participants to understand how construction of toilet in their homes would increase the social status of the residents of the village besides offering them privacy and help them use the human waste for agricultural production .

The second session started with a moving story of  head of a family who refused to construct a toilet in his house resulting in  the death of  his wife and only child under tragic circumstances. The exercise making the participants considering themselves as the head of the family was a great success in emotionally each participant understanding the plight of members of family who do not have toilets in their homes, and the mental agony they suffer on account of open defecation.

Group Discussion:

Then participants were divided into two groups immediately after the story narration, and asked to write reasons for promoting toilets in each house. The participants came out with a long list of reasons for promotion of sanitation in their homes. 

The process of mobilizing the people to change their mindset, and accept community toilets to switch over from open defecation was also explained.  The practice of paying, public using toilet a fee since they were contributing precious urine as also the conduct for beauty contest for toilets for Ecosan toilet users in Kameswaram village evoked very good response.  A few members also were keen to know about the process of extraction of struvite, the nutrient in urine in powder form, a successful experiment conducted by IIT New Delhi in  Musiri.

April 4th : 3rd Day

 The third days recap of the previous days programme was more lively.  The participants during the interaction session showed greater involvement and commitment to gather more information about sanitation.

During the recap of second days training programme many participants felt that in a dry region like Gwalior, Ecosan toilets could be popularized since it needed less water for usage.  It was cheaper compiled to septic tank toilets, which had many disadvantages.  They also welcomed the model, since, and also helped the house owner to use the sanitized urine and compost to promote agriculture.

The session showing photographs of different types of toilets, their main features, mistakes often committed during construction and usage of toilets, was a very lively one.  The participants during the first few slides, found it difficult to identify the type of toilets, and the special characteristics shown in the photographs. However soon they were quick in  identifying the highlights of the photograph, and almost all of them in a chorus came out with the comments.  The portrayal and depiction  of actual field level condition was very much appreciated.  A few even recalled seeing some toilets in their own area, with the features that were explained to them through the pictures.

This was followed by the approach to be adopted to convince people of the need for construction of toilets, and also to overcome their opposition to the toilet construction giving one excuse or other.  The public often said they had no land, no money, people refused to change their old habits etc.  The groups also discussed  very badly maintained toilets they had seen in their villages.

At the end of the session, the participants were divided into two groups and were asked to come out with their own answers as to questions relating to lack of space, lack of money, and reasons for not using toilets which were already constructed but were left abandoned by the householders.

The participants came out with an excellent batch of answers.

Construction of sub-structure of model Ecosan in toilet in SAMBAV Training Centre

An additional work taken up during the three day programme was construction of the substructure and fixing up of FRP pans on the squatting slabs in the SAMBAV training centre, Gwalior.

The masons and their team did an excellent job in construction the sub-structure, the participation wall of the two chambers and fixing the FRP pans in just three days.

Taking advantage of the availability of big rectangular rock slab, team decided to use she same as squatting slab.  In other places, the masons had to fabricate the squatting slab with concrete, which took three days.  The slab  brought ready made from the shop was placed over the sub-structure and the drop hole was as per the specification  carved out from the rock.  The team took only about 90 minutes to cut the circular drop hole, using the electrically operated stone cutting machine.  The team was told how to fix  the fiber reinforced plastic pan and how to pack and fix the FRP pan.  The filter bed and urine collection mud pot will be provided on both sides of the toilet, each chamber having its urine and wash water treatment facility.

The construction of the Ecosan toilet was not included in the training programme plan.  However the construction of the same during the training programme gave the participants in the programme an excellent opportunity to know intimately about the construction aspect as well as the different modules of the Ecosan namely, two chambers, concrete flooring, partition wall, vent pipe fixing etc.

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Gargi House, 93-A, Balwant Nagar

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Madhya Pradesh, India

Constitution : Sambhav is registered under M.P Society registration Act 1973

Date of Registration :19th July 1988, Registration No: 20301


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