Field Trials of the Tiger Toilet in Rural India

 

Visit to Adachiwadi,Maharashtra, October 2014

 

We leave the rapidly growing city of Pune behind and climb up the side of the mountains on a steep, twisting road headed for the village of Adachiwadi in Maharashtra. On the way we pass small farms growing vegetables and other crops which find a ready market in the city. It is about a two hour drive and everything is green after the rains.  We are on our way to see the Tiger toilets installed in Adachiwadi back in January/February by the PriMove team, our partners in India. In the car are Walter and Claire from BVV and Ajeet and Eknath from PriMove.

Adachiwadi is a peaceful village deep in the countryside with an air of solidity and contentment. The houses are well constructed and nearly all the residents are farmers. There are goats, cows and chickens around and a tractor rumbles through the main street. We meet up with Gouri, Mahesh and Rohit, our field team who have been faithfully monitoring the ten Tiger systems for the past 8 months. They take us down narrow lanes, muddy after rain the previous night, and we are off on the toilet tour. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BVV-PriMove team who have been working together on the field trials of the Tiger toilet under the USAID DIV project  – from left to right: Rohit,Gouri,Mahesh,Claire,Walter,Eknath and Ajeet.

All the users we speak to through Gouri are happy with the systems, especially that there are no smells and no flies or mosquitos, which can be a problem with septic tanks.  And it’s true – even with the lid off the treatment tank we can’ t smell anything and there are no sign of any flies. In most of the systems there is little or no faecal waste to see, suggesting that the worms are keeping pace with the daily intake. After we gently scrape the surface of the system we find the worms, which feed from below. 

A meeting with the owners and the lady who heads the Gram Panchayat is useful to explore how the users feel about the systems and what they think the benefits are. We find that women feel safer using our toilets which is encouraging.

So we leave encouraged to think about the improvements we can make in the next version of the Tiger toilet….

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