Sulabh signs MOU with Ethiopia to improve sanitation

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New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) Sulabh International, India's largest NGO working in the field of sanitation, has signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with an African country Ethiopia to provide it's expertise to improve sanitation, health and hygiene.

The MOU was signed last evening in the presence of Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh movement and Ethopian Ambassador Ms Genit Zewide.

The work will commence soon in Oromia, one of the largest states out of nine total states of Ethopia.

Ms Zewide said India and Ethiopia have many things in common and will like to have the presence of an Indian NGO to improve the sanitation conditions there. Both the countries cannot afford the high cost of sewer system therefore Sulabh technology of low cost sanitation is very effective there.

Dr Pathak announced that besides Ethiopia, five other countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean regions have been chosen to start the work.

''Work would be started soon in Ethiopia and plans are being finalised for Angola, Madagascar, Tajikistan and Haiti to streamline sanitation facilities in these countries,'' he said.

Addressing the media, Dr Pathak said Sulabh will provide consultancy services to each of the five countries to help them adapt Sulabh technologies for on-site sanitation including Sulabh twin-pit, pour-flush, compost toilet, public toilets connected to biogas digesters for energy production and Sulabh Effluent Treatment technology for purification of waste water.

The Sulabh twin-pit toilet decomposes human waste to manure within two years, which can then be used as inorganic fertilizer in the fields. The public toilets complexes, when connected to biogas digesters, recycle human waste to biogas, which can be used for lighting, cooking, and power generation. The effluent out of the digester, being rich in nutrients, can be purified through the Sulabh Effluent Treatment device, which makes it colourless, odourless, and pathogen-free thus making it safe for agriculture, horticulture or disposal into rivers and water bodies.

These technologies are an alternative to the septic tank and expensive sewerage systems, he added. Dr Pathak further stated that under the aegis of UN-HABITAT, Sulabh International earlier trained sector professionals from 15 African countries on various Sulabh technologies so that they could replicate these strategies in their respective countries for on-site sanitation with some modifications, if need be.

Sulabh has constructed five public toilets linked to biogas digesters in Kabul, Afghanistan which was funded by the Government of India. The fact that biogas production from human waste has been successful even below 250C has given further impetus to this programme. One public toilet was also constructed in Bhutan, which was financed by UNDP.

UNI SNG RP CS1715

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