Kathmandu, November 11
Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to India, with concurrent accreditation to Nepal and Bhutan, Deirdre Kent suggested that public toilets should be more women-friendly.
Kent said so during a field visit to a recently built ‘environmentally, socially and economically sustainable’ public toilet at Ratnapark today. She said though public toilets were essential for everyone, concerned agencies should focus on building infrastructure suitable for women.
The toilet was the site for a pilot demonstration for sustainable public toilet model in Nepal by AEROSAN Sustainable Sanitation in collaboration with GUTHI and Kathmandu Metropolitan City with financial support of the Canadian government-funded Grand Challenges Canada.
Kent said, “In cities with large populations like Kathmandu, it is important to have these kinds of facilities. We appreciate the work AEROSAN and KMC have done and the support provided to improve the condition of public toilets.”
Prakash Amatya, country representative of AEROSAN, said the public toilet was adapted to make it female friendly and faecal waste from it was used to generate usable biogas, which had minimised environmental impact.
The public toilet was renovated and redesigned to make it safe, sanitary, female-, disabled-, and environment-friendly through the use of simple interventions like proper ventilation, natural lighting, addition of female-friendly and disabled-friendly design elements such as separated and accessible hand-washing stations.
The toilet also has a biogas system that converts waste from the toilet to biogas (equivalent to 2 LPG gas cylinders per month) that is used by toilet operators to run a small teashop. The public toilet has been serving as a demonstration model for sustainable public toilets for the last two years.
AEROSAN is an organisation working across the globe to provide sustainable sanitation solutions.
A version of this article appears in print on November 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.