65-year old Panbati Devi from Paraspani gram panchayat in Pathargama block of Godda district in Jharkhand recently presented relatively large onions (bulb onion or common onion) to each of the staff in the block office of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G). She claimed that the onion yield was far better than previous years owing to the use of golden manure or organic compost taken out of a twin leach pit toilet.
The elderly lady who was a member of the Maa Bharti Mahila Mandal, a local Self Help Group (SHG) attributed the size and yield of the onion to use of twin pit manure.
Needless to say, the block officials were delighted with this development. Many a time, they had informed the community during triggering exercises of the advantages of using compost from twin pits. And this was their evidence.
Questions from the village communities were common during triggering exercises carried out in villages using the community approach to sanitation (CAS) method of building awareness; that dwelt at length on the need to build and use toilets for the health and well being of the entire community.
When introducing the twin pit toilet model which is best suited for rural communities, the SBM team had demonstrated how the twin pit model worked and emphasized that there was nothing wrong with touching the fecal matter turned compost. In fact, they had extracted the compost from a pit and demonstrated its use in kitchen gardens and in fields.
A twin-pit compost toilet is eco-friendly and affordable. It comprises of two pits with a Y junction so that one pit can be filled at a time which make take about 5 years, cover it when nearly full and leave it to stand while the second pit is used. After about a year, the sludge is almost dry and pathogen free, and would have turned into harmless and valuable fertilizer. The pit can be emptied safely and its contents used or sold.
MDWS has also advocated the benefits of twin pit toilets, having recently released a video of actor Akshay kumar promoting the same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb-hspoHnis
Panbati Devi had followed instructions and she was overjoyed with the results. She and others in the community who have had benefitted from the system will inspire others in their neighbourhood.
This incident is a matter of pride for the SBM team who are able to witness the fruits of their labour.
(Inputs: ZSBP-Godda, Shibnath Chatterjee)