The amount of human excreta collected at a newly built public toilet has eventually turned into treasure for the families there, thanks to a simple technology recently been adopted by the hospital.
Some social workers today enjoyed drinking special tea, made in a stove, which was fueledby the biogas produced from the human excreta, collected in the public toilet.
“We had a nice experience today. We cooked tea and had it together. It was special because it was made from the bio-gas we produced. More than tea, it was successful management of human waste,” said Punam Kumar Dahal, the social development officer at Biratnagar Sub-metropolitan City Office.
The plant was built in just two months and a half, with around 4 lakh rupees. At present the residual, which comes after production of the gas, is taken to the municipal drains. “But we can manage it. After some time, we will extend our plant so that the residual could be converted into manure for agriculture,” he adds.
A Secondary Town Integrated Urban Environment Improvement Project (STIUEIP) under the ADB funding Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported the municipality to build six public toilets in Biratngar. Out of them, one was built in premises of Koshi Zonal Hospital. This very toilet has developed biogas-making plant supported by AEROSAN Canada, which was a big solution to the human waste the toilet has been collecting. Upendra Baral , Chief of the STIUEIP/ADB project applauded the initiative and opined to replicate and upscale it into other public toilets as well in Biratnagar.
Inaugurating the system at the public toilet Dipak Koirala, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the municipality urged to replicate the system in the institutional toilets in the city. “It is allabout the renewable energy that we generate from the waste will be a key contributing to the environment and to the sustainable development of the city”, said the CEO Koirala. He further highlighted that terai has a big challenge to make the cities open defecation free and the synergy among the development actors could foster the change for better sanitation.
Koirala says that the 20 cu meter plant to produce biogas is very useful and cost-efficient too, apart from being environment-friendly. “It is wonderful. It needs just one dhoor of land, equivalent to around 30 feet by 40 feet. Only at the cost of just 4 lakh rupees, it can solve solution of human waste and make it useful too,” he adds.
Rebat Bahadur Karki, Chairperson of the Traffic Awareness Forum Nepal (TAFN), the implementing local NGO, said that the project has shown the ways to manage the fecalwaste management in an efficient way that it will establish revenue can be generated from a good business model of public toilet to sustain the operation. TAFN implemented the project under the Public Private Partnership policy of the municipality.
David Kevin Gallagher, Chairperson of AEROSAN expressed that the local solution through a partnership with the municipality, NGO and private sector is the key to make the change happen in the short time and this public toilet project has demonstrated it. He was very happy that AEROSAN contributed in the process to show a path where the municipalities could better manage the fecal waste with optimum resources in the developing country like Nepal.
Source: Water Discourse Vol. 1 Issue 1 February 2017