A ‘swachch’ toilet experiment in Madagascar that has lessons for the modern world

A ‘swachch’ toilet experiment in Madagascar that has lessons for the modern world

Eleonore Rartjarasoaniony – a 47-year-old mother, a girl and a small shop owner in the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo – is in the middle of her garden, looking at two young men in colorful suits and rubber boots to hygienic Loowatt Their new toilet without water that replace the latrines only a few months. At their feet, two skinny chickens and long legs, flocked by a group of soft chicks dressed in something like food, including shoes.

Inside a wooden hut behind his elderly mother, Rartjarasoaniony welcome their guests through a small window that faces the narrow and unpaved street. This is the Rartjarasoaniony store, where it sells a little of everything: kitchen sponges, eggs laid by chickens and freshly brewed coffee, and delivery to customers in small metal cups rinsed in bucket water from a common pump.

As described his new toilets in the soft Malagasy language – and the manager of Loowatt Anselmo Andriamahavita translated – I discern the word Mara in the chain of unknown sounds. At present, I learned that Tsara means “good”, as in well-being and health. Rartjarasoaniony rose to new toilet, as it is cleaner and safer than dependence.

“My family of four people use it, and my three renters who rent the neighboring house are included in the rent,” he said. “Even my son can use it,” he added, echoing the concerns of all mothers in Madagascar, terrified that their young children might someday fall into a pit and humiliate literally.

As most residents of Madagascar Rartjarasoaniony and tenants do not have modern sanitation systems in their homes, they are built with handmade bricks of the red mud of Madagascar. While mobile phones are ubiquitous in Antananarivo, toilets are not. Most people use “Madagascar baths”, that is, dependencies. In the countryside, some villagers even have – when nature calls them, they go to the bushes or in the fields. The most sophisticated of Madagascar that has latrines called “go natural”.

But latrines are not a hygienic solution, not just because they feel and are difficult to clean. Madagascar has so much groundwater that many residents of Antananarivo grow rice in their courses. When torrential rains, floods hit everything. Waste latrines rise and float in the courses, houses, shops, and streets.

The threat is very real. In the latrines of a neighbor on the other side of the street, sordid gray almost reaches the surface of the pit, a clear threat comes to the next storm. “When the toilet was used before the pit, and it was raining, sometimes the water intake,” said Rartjarasoaniony. “And we were afraid of getting sick from the dirt.” The lack of toilets is not an exclusive problem of Madagascar.

The World Health Organization estimates that 2.4 billion people do not have access to basic toilets, and almost 1 billion can not even do their business in the practice of so-called “private outdoor defecation”, the use of Fields, channels or streams. Many countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia face similar sanitation challenges, from the Kings, Francis told North Carolina State University, which develops sanitation management solutions for county development.

In many places, building a toilet system as we know it, is almost impossible. Some places just do not have enough water.

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