Project Details

Individual Toilet Projects

Over the last decade, Shelter Associates has facilitated the construction of more than 4,500 individual toilets in slums across 4 cities - Pune, Sangli, Kolhapur, & Pimpri-Chinchwad.

From building community toilets, we have moved towards a vision of 'One Home-One Toilet', as a more complete, end to end solution to the sanitation crisis. Our model is well aligned with the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission launched in 2014 with the intention of reducing incidence of open defecation and associated violations of a person’s health, safety and dignity. Our model is data driven, community centric, and inclusive in its approach as we engage with all stakeholders to deliver sanitation. Our cost comparisons reveal that individual sanitation is more economical when compared to the capex and subsequent maintenance costs incurred by the ULBs for community toilets.

Our methodology is very focused on raising awareness among community members on issues pertaining to health, hygiene, and sanitation. We conduct several workshops and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) with children, youth, women, and men in communities. We also encourage the formation of slum level committees to take up issues related to the provision of various services with the local ward offices even after we have withdrawn from the community.

Between 2013 and 2015 we have facilitated the construction of approximately 2000 individual toilets for use by residents of informal settlements across the 15 administrative wards of Pune. The toilets were made available on a cost-sharing basis; the cost of labour was borne by the beneficiary family and the rest met by us through grants and donations.

Our project is complemented by workshops and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to addresses three key sanitation issues in a sustainable and replicable way:

  • Open defecation (and associated violations of a person’s health, safety and dignity).
  • Ineffective community toilets.
  • Open dumping of domestic waste.

This project builds on previous experience of providing individual sanitation in informal communities and includes all the principles which Shelter Associates understands as essential to the implementation of effective interventions that produce long-lasting and tangible change.

Rapid Infrastructure Surveys were undertaken to map existing infrastructure in the slums, such as community toilets, water supply, solid waste management systems, drainage networks, and existing roads; 313 slums, which house about 107,000 families, were covered. The data was collected with the help of community members trained by Shelter Associates and organized on a GIS platform (presented on a Google Earth image as base map) to create an accurate profile of each slum, administrative ward and the city. This profile was used to identify the most vulnerable families within the most vulnerable informal settlements in each administrative ward of the city. Sanitation funds were thus targeted towards families that were most needy.

Community participation was generated through meetings, workshops, and FGDs to build a rapport with the community members; communicate health and hygiene messages; discuss and understand issues faced in relation to open defecation; and build support for the intervention.

This project was selected by the Dasra Giving Circle in February 2013 from around 200 NGO’s working in the urban sanitation sector across India and a similar project has since commenced in Sangli-Miraj after being awarded project funds at the Google Impact Challenge India finals. Shelter Associates planned to provide 1,500 individual toilets across the 15 administrative wards of Pune and 550 individual toilets across Sangli-Miraj during the period 2013-2016.

In Pune, the target of 1,500 toilets was achieved within 2.5 years and over 1,600 toilets have been constructed through direct funding till September 2015. Additionally, in a pilot initiative, Shelter Associates facilitated the construction of 372 toilets with PMC’s funds through a partnership model which is now paving way for construction of an additional 28,000 individual toilets within the next two years under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Mission (SBM).

The project now has gained momentum and the ‘One Home, One Toilet’ model is being replicated in three other cities: Pimpri Chinchwad, Sangli, and Kolhapur. The citywide data for all these cities have been compiled giving a detailed intervention plan to meet the gaps in the delivery of sanitation.

The sustainable, scalable, and replicable 'One Home, One Toilet' sanitation model:

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