A Toilet for Sumit

“Our previous toilet was a ‘katcha’ toilet made with bamboo sticks. The pit was covered with bamboo thatch. It was too near to the house. During monsoons, the water from the katcha toilet used to flow through the house and spread a foul smell all over the place,” says Sumit Deori, who lives with his wife Purnima Devi in Jorhat district, Assam.

The couple has a one year-old baby boy. They live in a small house next to a rice field. Last year, Sumit, along with 19 other male members of Bishnupur village, formed a Self-Help-Group (SHG) called Aditya SHG to work on common issues faced by people residing in the village. Their group meets once a month and assesses the development work taking place in the village. During one of the meetings, they met the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program team from ASOMI-- Water.org’s program partner in Assam.

Sumit, who was contemplating building a toilet at his house, learned about Water and Sanitation loan products and got a loan for the construction of a toilet and water point at his household. He says, “A team from ASOMI came from Guwahati to assist [me] in the construction of [the] household toilet. They supervised us with a mason, who recommended a twin-pit toilet structure. The mason said it will take about 25 years for one pit to fill. As there are two pits, this toilet can be used for my entire lifetime,” says Sumit with a smile.

Sumit in front of his toilet.

Sumit also attended a training on water and sanitation which helped him understand the various models of toilets, and ways to maintain it for better sanitary practices. “Our new toilet does not need much maintenance. It does not spread smells like our earlier one,” says Sumit’s wife. In the coming few months when the family’s income improves, they intend to construct the walls and roof of the toilet.

This success story was submitted by Water.org’s partner organization ASOMI, and was made possible by a generous grant from the PepsiCo Foundation.

Capital: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
77 million lack access to safe water
769 million lack access to improved sanitation
59% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day