Earlier in the year it was determined that the sanitation system in Bhaktapur was in desperate need of an upgrade. So Rabindra, the kiwi team and the community worked together to research the best system for the community. We looked at an ecofriendly toilet option installed into every household; however, this application was unable to be used as the community are not owners of the land. We settled on a septic tank system that requires cleaning out every 4-5 months via sucker truck. As with all our work with this inspired community, they agreed to provide all labour required and immediately got to work hand digging the hole required to support this system. They worked hard and quickly, and within 3-4 weeks of the upgrade being funded, the system was fully installed, with pipework linking every household toilet to the septic system.

The aftermath has been instantaneous, it was noticed almost immediately by the community that the smell that had lingered for years, had vanished overnight. Not to mention the work to individually empty toilet waste, along with all the health and sanitation implications that go with it, had become redundant.

For those living in the western world, who get to flush their waste away with not even a second thought, (and it’s an issue no one likes to discuss) it’s hard to fathom the life changes that this new sanitation system has provided the community, as well as the wider neighborhood. The kiwi team toured the community via Zoom following the installation, and to see the excitement and gratitude from the people was truly humbling, it was really something.