The Weekend Leader - Pit latrine toilet, being promoted in India, gets global funding

Pit latrine toilet, being promoted in India, gets global funding

New Delhi


A self-closing pit latrine plastic toilet costing $10 or less is among five sanitation-for-all projects funded under Urban Sanitation Challenge that addresses dangers of inadequate sanitation among rural consumers worldwide, including India.

This comes as a major boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aim to achieve the goal of an open defecation-free country by 2019.

The Water Innovation Engine, a partnership led by the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Thursday launched the global Urban Sanitation Challenge with the announcement of a multimillion dollar investment in five projects.

The projects include an innovative line of affordable plastic toilets equipped with a simple, gravity-powered self-closing trapdoor that makes pit latrine outhouses safer, more sanitary and less unpleasant.

The five projects in Africa, Asia, and South America will be scaled up with a total investment of CAD8.7 million.

The products, marketed under the SATO brand of Japan's LIXIL Group Corporation, are now being used in 14 countries, with more than 1.2 million toilets installed, improving the lives of six million people.

With the new funding, production will be scaled up to reach 15 million additional users.

Across its global sanitation and hygiene activities, LIXIL aims to provide safe sanitation for 100 million additional people worldwide by the end of 2020 -- a four percent reduction in the 2.3 billion worldwide who lack access to basic sanitation.

That would represent a significant acceleration of the world's pace towards a key United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for 2030: Sanitation for all.

In 2015, 2.3 billion people still lacked even a basic sanitation service, and 892 million people still practiced open defecation.

With SATO toilet products now also available in Uganda, Kenya and India, LIXIL is establishing new manufacturing sites and distribution in Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Haiti, Ghana, Malawi and the Philippines.

The products include a variety of models tailored to meet local needs and preferences.

A significant, recent addition to the SATO product line is the 'V-TRAP' toilet system, designed to improve the performance and reliability of twin pit latrines.

The new products include a diverter that enables users to alternate pits every two years. Left for two years, the waste in the closed pit decomposes into a safe fertiliser and is removed.

The pit is then reopened and the other pit closed. The twin pit approach is championed by the Indian government to achieve the goal of an open defecation-free India by 2019.

"SATO seeks to scale its operations and to develop the means to reach the millions of rural consumers currently living without access to safe and proper sanitation. Funding from Grand Challenges Canada will have a significant impact on our ability to achieve these goals," an official statement quoting Jin Song Montesano, Executive Officer with LIXIL Group, said.

The other projects are bundled water and sanitation services in the Philippines, sustainable sanitation in Peru and Kenya and converting the human waste of Rwanda's capital city Kigali into renewable fuel. - IANS

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