This report “Community-Municipal Corporation-NGO Partnership for City-wide Pro-poor Slums’ Infrastructure Improvement” is an outcome of a joint documentation and review done by local women’s groups, Women’s Action for Village Empowerment (WAVE) Federation, the NGO Gramalaya, Tiruchirappalli City Corporation (TCC) officials and WaterAid in 2008. It has been undertaken to draw policy recommendations from the experience of community-managed toilets, and bathing and washing complexes in the slums of the city of Tiruchirappalli during July 2006. It also sought to understand the benefits of CMTs and the challenges facing this model after six years of experimentation and draw out lessons for building on this success.
This paper is divided into five sections. Section two describes the city of Tiruchirappalli or Trichy and its sanitation situation. Section three introduces the concept of community toilets and presents the three models used in Trichy for the management of these facilities. Section four briefly examines the roles of various stakeholders in supporting the CMTs. Section five describes the current situation of community toilets under these three models followed by an analysis of their financial viability. It further lists benefits of CMTs and the key challenges to sustaining these benefits. The study ends with a number of recommendations for strengthening the CMT effort in Trichy and scaling-up.
This endeavour demonstrates how basic community infrastructure and pro-poor solutions can work effectively at the city-level, when supported by city authorities, a social development organisation or an NGO and empowered groups instead of contractors managing complexes. It reveals that communities can manage their own toilet units, and when they do this, the toilets are much cleaner than when managed by TCC, and entire communities can be declared open defecation free.