New Delhi, Sept, 4, 2012: In the cleaning of nearly 13 lakh insanitary dry toilets across the country, human beings and animals play an almost equal role, the Supreme Court was told on Monday.
In what could deal a severe blow to the sanitation claims of successive governments, petitioner NGO 'Safai Karmachari Andolan' culled out data from the 2011 census report to inform the court that 4.97 lakh dry toilets were "serviced by animals" while another 7.94 lakh were serviced manually.
Mumbai, July 15, 2012: Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Monday to highlight the problems of manual scavengers engaged in cleaning human waste, an aide said.
According to the aide, Aamir is scheduled to call on the prime minister Monday morning.
Among other things, he will bring to the prime minister's notice the problems of manual scavengers in different parts of the country. Aamir had highlighted the issue in a recent episode of his popular television programme "Satyameva Jayate".
New Delhi, May 6, 2012: Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri D. Napoleon informed Rajay Sabha today in a written reply that under 'Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)' 78,941 manual scavengers and their dependents were provided financial assistance for their rehabilitation in alternative occupations upto June, 2010. Subsequently 739 additional beneficiaries were covered under the Scheme.
A couple of years ago we featured Peepoo, the Swedish-designed biodegradable plastic bag which, in an effort to tackle sanitation issues in developing countries, turns human waste into fertilizer. Now in Kenya, Sanergy is addressing the same serious problem, by using a waste management model that aims to turn human waste into power and profit.
Human waste makes good fertilizer, but it can be smelly and dangerous to handle when fresh.
A common way to make it safer is to build an outhouse atop a brick platform so the waste falls into a box. When a door in the “vault” beneath the platform is opened, a full box can be pushed aside with a stick to “cook” for a few weeks while an empty box is pulled into place. Decomposition breaks down dangerous pathogens and reduces the stench.
Human excreta, or night soil, has been used in China to fertilise crops and feed fish for thousands of years. Presently, some 164.25 million tonnes of night soil are produced every year by 300 million people in 479 cities. After a period of disinterest, night soil again gets the attention it deserves, being a valuable resource rather than a contaminant. However, to make safe handling possible, treatment of the raw night soil is necessary.
The safe disposal of human waste (sanitation) by building and maintaining toilets and washing hands prevents the spread of germs and is necessary for good health. This Chapter 7 “Building Toilets”, has been taken from the resource book - A Community Guide to Environmental Health, published in 2008 by the Hesperian Foundation, is a manual that looks at the various aspects of sanitation and toilet building, including understanding sanitation needs of different groups (men, women, children, disabled), planning for toilets for rural areas, cities/towns and emergencies and looks at the various toilet options available and methods to set up each one of them.
Read the manual
April 25, 2012: The nation's singular obsession with water and its absolute ignorance on sewage have been driving towns and cities into a pool of human excreta.
Environmentalist and Center of Science and Environment (CSE) director general Sunita Narain said this during her lecture on 'Excreta Matters', a two-volume tome that she and her team compiled after surveying the water management and waste disposal systems of 71 cities.
A study by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has found that the city’s sanitation workers continue to work without safety equipment, spend a quarter of their income on medical treatment and remain, except for a handful, unaware of schemes tailored for them or the fact that physically carrying human excreta or night soil and entering manholes is prohibited.
If consumers in the advanced Western economies have a hard time swallowing the idea of drinking water recycled from sewage, that may be nothing compared with what those in the Philippines have to go through when they consider eating foods raised from fertilizer recycled from human wastes.