In UP Villages This Lady From USA Built 143 Eco Toilets Which Need No Maintenance, Now She Needs Your Help

From our friends at
Better Village Better World
Uttar Pradesh

September 1st, 2018 / 5:29 PM

eco toilets

Help Marta to build 100 eco-toilets in remote villages


Marta is an American native who settled in India in 2012 and started working in the villages of Uttar Pradesh under the project name “Better Village Better World.” Till now she has built 143 cost-efficient eco toilets known as ‘evapotranspiration’, 10 ft wide and 122-meter permeable roads and french drains which help in rainwater harvesting. Marta spent her own money for 82 eco toilets and 27 solar-powered homes.

As per the recent Swachhta Status Report 2016, 52.1% of the rural population of the country still defecates in the open. Uttar Pradesh has the population of 204.2 million (2012 census) and only 35% of its households have toilets. 



Better Village Better World

Four years ago, Marta surveyed a village in Jagatpur, Uttar Pradesh and asked all villagers what they want for their homes and their communities. The majority of the households answered that they need toilets. Marta believes that “asking, listening, observing over time is key to understanding what people want.”


Marta receiving, Swachhathon award in 2017 from Ministry of Drinking Water and for her innovative toilet model.

Marta is also a co-author of different books, research papers and has developed a theory for three-pronged strategy on development that incorporates health, education and the pieces of infrastructure.

“Based on my theory, I wanted a small scale model that I could execute. Through volunteering with Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna, I found two Villages in Amethi and Rai Bareli with a few active self-help groups. Then I decided to learn about it more and more, practice and contribute.” Marta said to The Logical Indian.

The toilet model Marta introduced is called evapotranspiration which is self-cleaning and requires less land.

Marta and her team brought the community together and communicated the benefits of every project they are doing in the village. Today, these small villages understand the importance of hygiene and healthcare. Children in the village are educating their elders to use eco toilets  and keep the neighbourhood clean.


The speciality of evapotranspiration toilet model

The total cost to construct one unit is  Rs 10,639 while a normal toilet under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan costs Rs. 17,000. To curtail costs, they use broken bricks and recycled materials wherever possible, including fly ash bricks and used tires. The toilet has low operating costs, only the occasional cleaning of the squatting platform is needed.


Eco Toilet building in process

Contrastingly, in the unlined twin pit toilet model, the toilet tank is filled with waste and later emptied. Due to the opening in the septic tank the urine and faecal matter enter the soil causing health issues. The evapotranspiration toilet is self-cleaning – the waste is filtered without human intervention.

It is an on-site sanitation system for the chemical and biological treatment and reuse of household blackwater. It was developed and popularised over the last two to three decades by permaculture practitioners in different countries, especially the U.S. and Brazil.


Completed eco toilets

Together, the substructure layers use the anaerobic digestion, capillary action, evaporation, and transpiration processes to filter, release and absorb the waste matter. Anaerobic digestion converts a portion of the human excreta into biogas, exiting out the back-standpipe. The digested matter travels up and out through capillary action. The nutrients leave the system by incorporating into the plants’ biomass through mineralisation and absorption through its roots, while evapotranspiration removes the liquid, either transpiring through the plants or evaporating at the surface of the soil.

Working of Evpotranspiration toilet

Effectiveness of the eco toilets 

  • User surveys: The team follows up with the toilet users, conducting several usage and performance surveys.
  • An accredited laboratory, local government authorities, engineers and sustainable architects all reviewed the toilet model.
  • The FICCI Research and Analysis centre collected samples from the eco toilets and all determined parameters tested within the permissible limits. Coliform and E.coli were not detected in the water hand pumps neighbouring the eco toilets.

Other projects under Better Village Better World

Besides building eco toilets and roads, Marta

  • has also set up 27 solar panels in homes, with two lights and a mobile charger,
  • Built French drains with rainwater harvesting techniques,
  • has been working on Mycofiltration systems for potable water and
  • Permeable roads.

Water filter, permeable road and solar power

Pawan Singh is the program coordinator. He also helped in running literacy programs, writing textbooks and organic farming, setting up libraries and organised a pilot stage of four classrooms. ‘Mera Doctor’ is a telehealth service which aims to provide a medical facility that offers 24×7 doctor-on-call, and gifted their services for free for a year to two villages.


Creating an awareness

Marta says that it is not only about awareness. Most people in villages know about toilets and the importance of their use. “We never lecture the people we work with. We use art, street theatre, and graffiti to encourage toilet use thanks to collaborations with Ayushya George, Khanabadosh, and BasicShit.org, respectively. We introduced a model that addresses their concerns of cleaning tanks and showed them different models, and they chose this model. They had a say, a stake, in what was built,” she said.


Community support

The community has supported these projects by volunteering their time and lending their land, among others. Marta and her fellows work with the same workers and masons. They understand how the eco toilets function and explain its mechanism to new households.

Without enough support and resources,  Marta has done incredible work selflessly. Now she wants us to join her efforts.


Want to join Marta’s efforts? You can donate here 

For more details about the project reach out to Marta at [email protected]

With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Kalavati Devi

True Hero: Meet The Lady Mason Who Built 4000+ Toilets In Unsanitary Slums & Villages Of UP

Eco Toilets

This Lady From USA Has Built 143 Eco Toilets And Electrified Homes In UP Villages, Now She Needs Your Help

My Story: ‘One Thing Which Was Really Sad, Humans Don’t Take The Initiative To Help Another Human In Need’

My Story: It Took Me 4 Years To Get 6,000 Toilets Built In 34 Villages Of Gujarat

Acid Attack Victim Sonia

Gang Raped, Attacked With Acid & Humiliated: This Trans Woman Is In Need Of Your Help

Swachh Bharat Scheme

4,666 Toilets Built In 48 Hours Under Swachh Bharat Scheme In Perambalur, Tamil Nadu

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

“Fantastic. Ex-Minister Not Traceable”: SC Slams Bihar Police For Failing To Arrest Manju Verma Linked With Shelter Home Sex Abuse

Others

Goa: Over Formalin Scare In Fishes, Govt Bans Import From Karnataka & Other States

News

Burdened With Debt, Maharashtra Farmer Builds A Pyre & Sets Himself Alight

Environment

In Just 3 Hours Of Rain, Chennai Apartment Collects 1 Lakh Litres Of Water

News

Kolkata-Based NGO Rescues One Out Of 62 Indians Enslaved In Malaysia

News

Head Of Dept Sexually Harassed 28-Yr-Old Trainee Doctor, Post Which She Committed Suicide: CID Report

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.