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‘Bapu’ bio-toilets to solve Indian sanitation problems16th of August 2012
Around 100,000 bio-toilets are set to be installed in rural communities in India over the next two years as a part of a project to bring basic sanitation to poorer parts of the country.
India's Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed the bio-toilets with the aim of eliminating the problem of open defecation over the next decade.
The lavatories, which are said to be eco-friendly, use bio-digester technology to compost waste. They also produce odourless and colourless biogas for use in stoves for cooking. The system's biological process means that it requires no maintenance, sewage tank or emptying and the bacteria within it are claimed to eliminate the pathogens that cause water-borne diseases.
India's rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has called for more than 64 million Euros of the money earmarked for defence spending to be invested in the sanitation project instead.
At the launch of the eco-lavatories in New Delhi he condemned the problem of open defecation in the country. "We are the world's capital of open defecation and 60 per cent of all people who defecate in the open are in India," he said. "This is a matter of great shame, anguish, sorrow and anger."
The bio-toilets have been dubbed 'Bapu' meaning 'father', a name given to Mahatma Gandhi who emphasised the importance of sanitation in rural India.