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Finding out about sanitation facilities

Sanitation is another major issue in slums. Since slum dwellers rarely have access to proper housing and water, open defecation is a common practice – it affects the health of the people. Why don’t you check out the state of affairs yourself?

Please Note: Interview at least six people (3 males and 3 females), all residents of the slum. Age of the respondents can be:

[15-25 years] [26-35 years]  [35-45 years] [46-55 years] [above 55 years]

Mobile toilets are simple portable enclosures typically used as a temporary toilet for construction sites or large gatherings because of their durability and convenience. Sulabh toilet complexes are located in public places, bus stands, hospitals, markets and slums. They are maintained on a pay-and-use basis.

Ask them the following questions.

Do they have toilets at home? [Yes] [No]
 Do they have bathrooms at home?  [Yes] [No]
If there is no toilet at home, then what are the alternatives?

Please tick the appropriate options.

Use community toilets

Use community toilets

In the open

Use government paid toilets (Mobile or Sulabh toilet)

In case they use community toilets: Is the surrounding clean and hygienic?  [Yes] [No]

Do they have separate toilets for males and females?  [Yes] [No]

How far are the toilets from their residence? ____________minutes walk

 When do the women usually go to the toilets?

Early hours (when it is dark)  Day time

 Do they get water in the toilets to clean?  [Yes] [No] [Sometimes]

 Do they have to carry water from outside?  [Yes] [No] [Sometimes]

How is the excreta tackled? Toilets connected: [to pit]  [to septic tank] [dry toilets]

Any other, please specify

 What happens to the wastewater coming out of the toilet? [goes to some pit] [flows into the drain]  [no idea]

If there is open defecation, then

How far do they have to go to defecate? _______________________minutes walk

How is the surrounding? ___________________________________________________

When do the women normally go to defecate? ____________________________________

 Do they get any urinary tract infections or stomach infections?  [Yes] [No]

 Is open defecation polluting any nearby source of water or groundwater? [Yes] [No]

 Do the children fall ill due to poor state of sanitation?  [Yes] [No]

 Do the children suffer from stomach infection fevers jaundice skin diseases/infection

 Try to get an estimate from the money spent on medicines and doctors last year by the slum dwellers (on infections related to waterborne diseases). Support your documents with photographs.

Note: This activity is suitable for students in Standard 7 and above and in schools which have a proper science laboratory.


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