In Nepal, HH and our partners CHDS are constantly tripping over examples of non- government organisation solutions that favour the low initial capital cost toilet.
One example is the ‘$300 toilet’. It has an observed life of between zero and six months. How can the life of the toilet be zero? Given limited materials (1 x Asian style toilet pan, 5 cement rings, 2 bags of cement and 2 sheets of roofing iron or tiles) and instructions for making a toilet, the family must show initiative by finding the other materials required (for walling, roof structure and a privacy door) and provide the labour and skill to complete the toilet. Given that after the materials are handed out there is no further technical advice of support it is not surprising that only a few toilets are completed.
If completed, the toilet is a pit in the ground with no effective wastewater treatment. Within months, any absorption through the soil clogs, the pit fills and overflows. There will be no maintenance available and the toilet will be abandoned. There is no follow up inspection by the donor agency to assess toilet function or adequacy.