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Community Health

Perambalur Community Hygiene Project

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In India, most people defecate outdoors, most along roadsides, in or next to communal water supplies and in common areas, due to lack of toilets. This is the cause of many health problems, and also of discomfort for many women, who often have to wait until it gets dark before looking for a safe place to urine or defecate. Sahaya International decided to work on reducing this problem by building community-operated toilet facilities. Please download the concept sheet (click here).

Update June 2008:

  Thanks to generous supporters, in 2005 Sahaya International raised $5,340 for this program.

  After further discussions with the local women and experts on public hygiene, it was decided that, instead of building a single large public community facility (which has issues of maintenance and would benefit only women living in the immediate vicinity), a more feasible plan is to build small toilets (which cost about $120-$130 each) for individual families that live in these dispersed rural communities.

  A revolving loan fund is used for this program, so that as loans are repayed in monthly installments, loans can be given to new families.

  This program has started and already more than 100 toilets have been constructed.

  The pictures on this page show several different toilets that were built. The most simple toilet costs approximately $130. For the larger structures, the family mobilized some extra resources to built a larger structure or an attached room for shower facilities.

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