Located six kilometers from the Mahabodhi Temple, the 680 residents of Durgapur basti in Bodhgaya Nagar Panchayat are living without access to any form of sanitation services. The women and children of the basti are most acutely affected by the lack of safe sanitary spaces, and are more prone to risks of poor health outcomes. Team Pucca designed and executed a toilet block complex with ten toilets and two bathrooms. The entire toilet block complex has been built using plastic bricks, made from recycled plastic waste. A total of 750 blocks were used in the construction process amounting to a total of 1500 kilograms of plastic waste being utilised. This plastic was collected from different sites in and around Bodhgaya. The toilets are designed to cater to the needs of almost 400 women and children of Durgapur village. The toilets are disabled friendly and in addition, the toilet block complex has been equipped with an efficient rain water harvesting system to collect an approximate 53,000 liters per year for washing purposes.
Rationale and scope
In collaboration with local partner organization, Sacred Earth Trust, we up-cycled plastic waste (polystyrene and mixed LDPE) collected in Bodhgaya municipality to create plastic waste bricks, to be used in the place of regular mud bricks. Plastic bricks are larger in size (9 x 9 x 18 inches) and weigh up to 2kgs, hence the cost of using these compared to regular mud bricks is negligible. Using plastic bricks as construction material offers progressive solutions to the growing problem of plastic usage and solid waste management.
Pucca team members routinely communicate with community leaders to ensure usage, cleanliness, and proper functioning of the toilets. The Bodh Gaya Nagar Panchayat has also pledged to ensure the cleaning of toilet complex periodically. In collaboration with Professors from the Dept. of Social Work, Magadh University, we conducted water, sanitation and hygiene programs for the residents of Durgapur village to ensure sustainable usage of built sanitation facilities.
Features of the Toilet Complex:
Duration of the project: June 2017 to August 2017
Funders: Live to Love Foundation