Low Income Community Toilets (Sri Lanka)
Country: SRI LANKA
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Place of execution of the project: Yatawatta, Matale District
Continent: Asia (South-Asia)
Political and Administrative Division: 9 Provinces and 25 districts (each of them divided in 256 divisional Secretaríats)
Population: 22.156.000 inhabitants
Urban areas: about 18,7% of the population lives in urban areas (World Bank / 2020)
Official languages: Singhalese, Tamil and English.
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (USD 1 is equivalent to LKR 320,20)
Borders: No borders (if we refer to maritime border, we may mention with India and the Republic of the Maldives)
Superficie: 65.610 km 2
Yearly inflation rate: 6,15% (World Bank / 2020)
Unemployment rate: 5,88 % (World Bank / 2020)
GDP Per Capita: 13.909 USD (April 2021/ IMF)
Approx. minimum monthly salary: USD 68,55 (LKR 12.500)
HDI (Human Development Index): 0,782 (ranked 72 in the world, it is considered high)
Gin Coefficienti: 0,398 (1 is perfect inequality y 0 perfect equality, everyone wins the same)
% of population living under poverty line: 16 %
This project has been implemented in 5 locations:
- Selagama East
- Nagolla Janapathaya
- Divilla South
- Divilla North
- Udagama West) of the Matale District (Central province)
This project has been originated by Centre for Human ResourceDevelopment as an answer to a major concern in this district. It was estimated in 2015 that approximately 20 million people (57 percent of the total population of the District) still lacked access to adequate sanitation. Open defecation was a major issue and as such, the specific objectives of the project were:
- Reduce the practice of open defecation.
- Reduce the number of households living below poverty line through enhanced delivery of basic social services and improved access to essential facilities that include sanitary toilet, clean water and health care.
In terms of solution’s construction, the project started in February 2020. Once the materials were purchased and were transported to a certain point. Since it was not possible to transport the materials to the houses, they were left on the roadsides. Then the families had to pick them up and carry them to their house by wheelbarrow or head and shoulder. Following the transport’s activity, the Mason Groups started the construction. There were three groups, each of them had a different task:
- The first group laid the foundation (after the families dug the pit).
- The second group built the toilet with hollow blocks up to the roof slabs and plastered them.
- Finally, the third group plastered inside the Toilet (final finishing) and fixed doors, squatting pan and connected the PVC pipe to the Pits.
The following materials were used during the execution of the project: Sand, Cement, Metals, Hollow Blocks, Solid stones, Steel bars, Syrups (6 X 6"), Red Cement, 6 mm Coil, Door with Frame (72" X 27"), Squatting Pan, 4” PVC Pipe, ½” PVC Pipe, ½” Water Tap and Wood for concrete slab.
It must be highlighted that the project received the support from the local authorities. The Yatawatta Divisional Secretary was the Guarantor of the Project. As such the local authorities involved themselves in the project by presenting the Low-Income Community Toilets to their District Development Committee meeting where the entire government department, private stockholders gathered once in a month and discuss/submit the burning problems in the district. Regarding public awareness, the Officers of the respective villages were assisting Centre for Human Resource Development in coordinating health activities, cooperating with the Public Health Inspectors visiting the locations to see whether the construction activities were according to their regulations. Officers also took part in conducting health awareness and health education for the families.
In terms of impact, it may be said that these were:
- Promote hygiene and sanitation.
- Reduce the risks related to the lack of hygiene. Behavioural change has been encouraged through the implementation of the project.
- Reducing poverty and promoting social equity.
- Reducing open defecation.
In terms of problem, at the beginning, the construction activities have been stopped due to the Curfew on account of COVID 19.
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