Sanitation Studio Nepal 2014 – maintenance

Maintenance of the toilets and waste treatment systems built by the Sanitation Program  is essential for continued function and health improvement. Village leaders have the trained construction teams to carry out maintenance and families donate to a maintenance fund … the missing link… is the regular assessment of what maintenance is needed by a locally trained team using a simple, but accurate, assessment tool.

One of the projects being completed at this year’s Studio is a maintenance manual that will be able to be used by local village people.

CHDS and HH are advising on key design issues such as:

  • few, if any words as there are few literate villagers and languages change from village to village 
  • simple drawings to describe what needs to be tested 
  • function based questions 
  • testing rather than looking 
  • priority of work to be agreed 
  • light and easily carried 
  • water proof if possible or easily protected from rain etc 
  • low cost production of the kit

This is no simple task, but the design team of four working on the manual have already been able to test a ‘draft’ version of the system in the village environment with the enthusiastic support of two village sanitation committee chair persons. One of the leaders insisted on trying the system and achieved an accurate assessment of maintenance needs on his first attempt.

A final draft of the system is now being developed and will be re-tested before the Studio ends.

Maint Group In Field

The design team (L-R Jasper, Liv, Lucy and Harry) checks details of the draft assessment system in the village 

Two Chairs Discuss Maint

CHDS’s Bishnu Shrestha, describes the system to the two village sanitation committee chairs. (L-R Bhudiman and Dunbar)

Dunbar Tries The System

The village sanitation committee leaders try the ‘draft’ maintenance assessment system and give valuable feedback to the design team.