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    Training of Masons on Fecal Sludge and Septage Management

    Moving forward with CFAR’s efforts to bring sharper focus on Fecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM), a training camp was held for thirty masons at Jawahar Nagar and Jhalana Kunda in Jaipur, Rajasthan in December 2017. An integral part of sanitation, FSSM is about strengthening the containment, transportation, emptying, disposal and recycling of human waste. The day-long training, thus, emphasized on the components of the sanitation chain and the role of the participants in it.

    The participants were informed on the technical options available for the construction of individual household latrines, with special emphasis on twin pit technology and septic tanks. A group work session was held on what fecal sludge comprised of and the current practices used by masons in the construction of sanitation facilities.

    The current sanitation facilities that were being constructed and used were listed by the participants as:

    1. Single lined pit pour flush toilet
    2. Single unlined pit pour flush toilet
    3. Twin pit pour flush toilet
    4. Septic tank
    5. Toilet with no containment unit and direct discharge into drains

    The current practices in FSSM, the importance of well-designed toilets, the impact of poor management of fecal sludge and common mistakes in construction of containment units were discussed at the training session.

    A film on twin pit technology was shown to the participants for them to understand the process of construction of twin pit toilets. This was followed by a detailed discussion (with the help of illustrations) on the process of construction as well as the common mistakes made while constructing twin pit toilets.  The standard parameters and the dos and don’ts of constructing septic tanks were also discussed. The link between proper fecal sludge management and adherence to the standard parameters of construction of toilets was emphasized.

    Here are some of the responses of the participating masons to questions regarding construction of toilet construction:

    Ramdayal: “Maine simota gaon me 72 teen gaddhe wale shauchalaya banaye the jisme ek pit bathroom ke paani ke liye tha”. (I have built 72 toilets with three pits in Simota village of which one pit was for grey water that comes out of the bathroom)

    Narayan: “Naale me khulne wale shauchalaya se kuchh fayada nahi hai kyunki mal bahar hi nikalta hain” (No purpose is served by using toilets that are directly connected to an open drain because the feces is discharged into the open environment)

    Heeralal: “Agar mal khali karnewala truck bhi mal ko khule me fenkta hai to wo apne pass hi wapas aata hai or use to khuchh fayada bhi nahi hota hain” (If the fecal sludge is discharged in an open area it will serve no purpose).

    Lalchand:Do gaddhon wale sauchalaya me 3.5 feet gahara hota hai jisme mal ka upchar hokar uski khad banti hai. Mere ghar par bhi yahi banaya hai or maine uska gaddha bhi change kar diya hain”(Pits in twin pit toilets are 3.5 feet deep in which feces gets treated and converted into manure. I have also constructed toilets with the same design and recently I also changed its pit).

     Narayan:Humari jimmedari sabse pahle hai, hum shouchalaya banate hain aur logo ko sahi takneek par guide kar sakte hain” (We have a responsibility because we are the ones who build toilets and we can guide households on the right toilet techniques)

    Radha Mohan:Hum humare sathiyo ko bhi aaj jo training me seekha uski jaankari denge aur aage se yahi do gaddho wale sauchalaya ka nirman karenge” (We will further disseminate the information which we have learnt here and from now on we will insist on constructing twin pit toilets)

    The workshop achieved a measure of success as it was able to fulfil its objectives of

    • training as many as 30 masons on FSSM and increased the knowledge of masons on available toilet techniques with information on designs and construction standards
    •  creating a well-trained peer group that would not only use the techniques discussed at the workshop for construction of toilets but also disseminate the technical information and motivate other masons and communities to adopt safe sanitation techniques in their localities.
    • creating greater awareness on FSSM and its ill effects on public health and natural resources.
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