toilet technology help to reduce global warming
An Indian innovator who plans to promote cheap toilet technology in 50 developing countries in
Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East region says his technologies could also help developed
nations reduce global warming. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh movement, told the World
Environment and Water Resources Congress at Providence in Rhode Island
last week how his technologies could help achieve the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation to provide toilets to half of the 2.6
billion people who are without toilets by 2015 and to all by 2025.
Only India has been able to make a difference because "no country except
India has appropriate, affordable, indigenous and culturally acceptable
technology which could replace the need of a sewerage system for the
disposal of human waste," Pathak said in an interview. Sulabh technologies could also be helpful to developed nations because
they reduce global warming and save an enormous quantity of water required for flushing and also to provide bio-fertiliser to use for
agricultural purposes, Pathak said. Pathak said he planned to open Sulabh Sanitation Centres in 50 countries
in the next five years and to train the local people and engineers so they can implement the programmes in their own countries.
The process has already begun in Ghana, Ethiopia, Madagascar,
Mozambique, Laos, and Cambodia. Besides maintaining more than 7,000 public toilets in India, Sulabh has also built public toilets in Bhutan
The engineers attending the Congress "were amazed to see how simple and
affordable technologies of Sulabh could help to solve the problems of
defecation in the open and manual cleaning of night soil in India", he said.
For the first time they came to know about the decentralised system of
human waste and wastewater treatment in lieu of the sewer system to save
rivers and water bodies from pollution due to sewage, he said. "So they
were all unanimous to join hands with us to solve the global sanitation
problem." "In the 60s when I came on the scene in India, no house and no school
had a toilet in rural India. In urban areas, 85 percent of people had
bucket toilets in their homes cleaned manually or they used to go for defecation in the open," Pathak said.
Today, thanks to Sulabh, 63 percent people in urban areas and 57 percent
in rural areas have access to toilet facilities, he said, describing it as "a significant achievement of the nation".
Pathak was confident his visit to the US would go a long way in showing
the path of simple and sustainable technologies advocated by Mahatma
Gandhi and British economic thinker Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher,
best known for his proposals for human-scale, decentralised and
appropriate technologies. Pathak said the Sulabh technologies that he developed for household and
Sulabh Public Toilets linked with Biogas and Effluent Treatment Plant
are free from patents. "Therefore there is no cost involved in the transfer of these
technologies. Everyone is free to adopt them and they do not have to pay any money to Sulabh for transfer of technology."
Addressing criticism at going global, while vast regions of India still
remain uncovered, Pathak said "as an inventor of technologies I want to
serve humanity and mankind throughout the world". He agreed that "we have to go miles before we achieve the target because
still 600 million people in India need toilet facilities. But what is
favourable to us is now we have appropriate and affordable technologies which other counties do not have".
"Along with assisting India, I am planning to go global because 2.6
billion people (without toilets) are not only from our country but from
half of the world," he said. "Therefore my message and technologies going global will not create any hindrance in achieving the goal in my
home country." Source: IANS