Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a self described “action sociologist”, has catalyzed the construction of over 1.2 million latrines in India – yes 1,200,000!!! Since 1970 Dr. Pathak and his Sulbah Sanitation Movement has helped change Indians’ perception of sanitation, and developed new and innovative technologies for both rural and urban populations. For his work on the Sulabh Sanitation Movement and its contribution to making sanitation a priority in India, Dr. Pahtak was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize this week. In case you wanted to know a little bit about his accomplishment/innovations, here is a short overview:
• Sulabh public toilet and bath facilities based on that system at 7500 locations, together serving more than 10 million people daily. These pay-per-use public facilities provide an economically sustainable, ecological, and culturally acceptable solution to hygiene problems in crowded slum communities and public places.• Optimized water conservation in the Sulabh Shauchalaya systems, requiring only 1.5 litres of water per use to flush, in contrast to conventional toilets that require a minimum of 10 litres. This has significant additional benefits for health and quality of life in water-poor regions.
• Environmentally balanced wastewater treatment based on a duckweed and fish raising (pisciculture) ecosystem that provides economic opportunities for rural poor communities.
• Several technologies that convert waste from Sulabh Shauchalaya toilets into biogas for heating, cooking, and generating electricity.
• The Sulabh Shauchalaya twin pit, pour-flush toilet system now in use in more than 1.2 million residences and buildings built by Sulabh. This technology has been declared a Global Best Practice by United Nations HABITAT and Centre for Human Settlements, and is now recommended by the UNDP for use by more than 2.6 billion people around the world.
(taken from here)
This is only a short list….Check out their website for more info.
Honestly, this guy is an bonified sanitation guru. From the development of a sanitation museum (that is right) to a sanitation encyclopedia, this guy knows his shit (literally). Hopefully this prize will help highlight the Sulabh Sanitation Movement’s accomplishments and teach the world/WASH sector a thing or two about going to scale.