Taking a leaf out of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, West African nation Senegal has decided to launch ‘Swachh Senegal’, by installing precast toilets developed by Bengaluru-based retired Isro chief engineer H Raja Simha. Seydon Sane, Mayor of Ziguinchor, the second largest city of Senegal, watched the live demonstration of the construction of precast toilets in the city on Saturday.
Speaking to DH, Sane said: “We saw Raja Simha’s invention on social media and got in touch with him as we found it cost effective, long lasting and easy to build. The precast toilet can be built within a few hours. We will instal 100 units at Ziguinchor under a pilot phase and later across the town, depending on the requirements.” Sane said he will launch the “Swachh Senegal” programme by installing toilets in rural pockets of the town and at required households within 3-4 months. Simha, who has been a technical advisor to BBMP, Bescom and various government departments, said the patented ‘twin pit, pour flush, prestressed and precast rural toilet kit’ comes with concrete walls, nuts and bolts, two soak pits, door, junction box and other features and costs Rs 12,000 as against the normal construction cost of Rs 35,000. Anyone can instal the toilet by just following instructions that come with the kit.” Sane and another African delegate Ndeye Fatou honoured Simha with the “Outstanding Engineer” award and signed an MoU with him for the pilot project that would be executed through the World Bank and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).State shows no interest Karnataka, which has just three open defecation free cities, however, has not shown interest in adopting the affordable toilet kit developed by Simha. Simha said Gujarat and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu have replicated his design. “It has a life span of 50 years and is compact. I chalked out the idea a year ago and so far, these models have been replicated at Daman and in Gujarat with the installation of more than 1,000 precast toilets. The Karnataka government has not shown interest in the project so far,” he said.According to the Swachch Bharat Mission, only three cities in the state – Mysuru, Udupi and Mangaluru – are open defecation-free while the rest of the state, including Benglauru, still practises open defecation.

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