Wednesday, June 15, 2011

For Mom

My mother loves traveling. However, she hates dirty bathrooms. To show her what she's missing here, my post today is on the upscale (and not so upscale) loos of India.

So, I've had a few people ask me what a soilet is, and why it's needed in India. Well, first off, let's start with the basics.

In our house we have a nicer toilet and system. However, even still, we have to put the toilet paper in a trash can so that it won't clog up the drains.

Note: This is an upper scale bathroom (see the shower is attached to the wall)

For the normal person, they have something like this:

If they're more westernized (the little bucket is to scoop into the toilet to make it "flush" also alternatively the shower)

But most people here in India are used to this:

Called a "squatter"

But these are people who live close to towns who have these kind of toilet systems that are relatively sanitary and safe.

One big problem with these systems is that they use a septic tank. But it costs a lot of money to get the waste taken care of every few months or years.

So for most of the Indians who can't afford this kind of care, they use something like this:

Yes, that's the bathroom, and no there's no door

Obviously this creates problems with waste getting into the same groundwater they use for drinking and cooking along with various other public health issues.

Enter the soilet. A soilet is a system that is similar to a septic tank except for the fact that it needs no maintenance. It utilizes earthworms to get rid of the solid waste (which they do in nature anyways) and it gets rid of the liquid waste through several filtration systems that can go into a drainage pit or siphoned to help give nutrients to trees and gardens (Underground).

This system helps to provide a more sanitary way for people to dispose of waste and can be especially helpful in areas of high concentrations such as slums.

We've been lucky that we've found a group to work with to build a soilet in a slum! We're so excited. These people literally are walking in their own excrement so this will give them an opportunity to have better health.

Isn't service work great? We're so excited that we get to help these people out! Let the work proceed!


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