A septic tank in the works | Milaap

A septic tank in the works

I went to visit Chitra, but she was not availabe. Instead, I met with another borrower in the group, Sarathi. I met Sarathi outside of her neighbor’s house in the town of Musiri, about 40 kilometers west of Trichy, Tamil Nadu. After a brief introduction, I sat down next to her on a cot made out of wood and a lattice of white rope. The cot creaked loudly, and scared that the cot would break with my added weight, I took a seat in a plastic chair across from her and to start the interview.
Each year Sarathi works the 100 days that she is allotted through the government’s NBR rural employment scheme digging canals and doing other manual labor, which pays Rs 100 per day. Her husband works in politics, and with a big election coming up, I was lucky to run into him while I was visiting Sarathi. The couple lives with their two married sons, their son’s children, and their unmarried daughter. They all live together in the same house that Sarathi’s husband grew up in.
Due to the size of Sarathi’s family they have chosen to build a septic tank model toilet. When compared to a leach pit model toilet – a 3x5 ft. pit lined with bricks and a concrete ring – the septic tank model has a considerably higher capacity. However, septic tanks are also considerably more expensive to construct than leach pit toilets. When I went to visit, Sarathi had not constructed a toilet yet. However, they have purchased 1,500 bricks at Rs 3.50 a brick, and two units of sand at Rs 1,400 per unit, supplies that they will use to construct the toilet. 
Although it was a little disappointing that they had not completed construction, it was encouraging that they had invested over Rs 8,000 in some of the necessary materials and had already contacted a mason. With a 3-month old baby in the house, the will likely be preoccupied for the next few months. However, I am confident that they will begin construction on their toilet soon.

User-added image
Although it was a little disappointing that they had not completed construction, it was encouraging that they had invested over 8,000 Rs. in some of the necessary materials and had already contacted a mason. With a 3-month old baby in the house, the will likely be preoccupied for the next few months. However, I am confident that they will begin construction on their toilet soon.


Sarathi