Only 26% of rural toilets use twin-leach pits, finds survey

  1. An analysis of the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19 data conducted by The Hindu has revealed that only 26.6% of rural households use the twin-pit system to dispose of excreta from their toilets. According to the analysis, 28% of toilets are connected to a septic tank with a soak pit and 6% to a tank without a soak pit. According to experts, the absence of twin pit systems and dependence on septic tanks would require a robust faecal sludge management
  2. The twin pit system contain two leach pits, with a ‘Y’ junction, so that one pit can be filled at a time. When one pit is filled and closed off, waste flow is transferred to the second pit. By a year or two, waste in the first pit is converted to manure. It is an in-situ sanitation system.
  3. The construction of twin pit toilets, as a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) has been promoted by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Further, World Health Organisation (WHO) has also promoted the system.
  4. The twin pit system has a number of advantages such as a) cost effective- cheaper to construct, b) easy to empty- owners can themselves empty the content and therefore manual scavenging not required, c) waste gets converted to manure and can be used by farmers, d) environmentally sustainable- groundwater contamination less likely than on-site sanitation systems (e.g. septic tanks), e) transportation and treatment of faecal waste not a problem
  5. Swacch Bharat Mission (Gramin) aims to make India an open defecation free country. It seeks to improve the levels of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF) and clean.
  6. The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2018-19 was conducted by an Independent Verification Agency (IVA) under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G).