No pit, no toilet | Milaap

No pit, no toilet

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Kanagavalli's street

With her loan from Milaap, Kanagavalli Ravi started building a toilet, but hasn't quite completed it. I went to visit Kanagavalli in her village outside of Trichy, and she showed me the structure outside of her house - a cement enclosure comprised of two walls. However, the pit has yet to be dug, and no toilet pan has been put in place. Wondering whether or not Kanagavalli would be able to finish the toilet, I asked her about how much it would cost to dig a pit. She said that the pit would cost another 5,000 rupees to dig, and that her husband does not make very much money working in a hotel.

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Outside of Kanagavalli's house and the beginnings of her toilet

In Kanagavalli's village of T. Puthur, the cheapest model of toilet, a single pit model, costs about Rs. 12,000 to build. The lack of the pit either means that Kanagavalli got a bad deal from the masons, who come from a nearby village to construct toilets, or that her family used part of the toilet loan to cover other expenses. She said that her children, ages 3 and 5, get sick about ten times a year. Each visit to the hospital costs roughly Rs. 500, which means that each year the Ravi family spends more on the children’s medical expenses than the Rs. 5,000 that it would cost to finish the construction of the toilet. I am hopeful that Kanagavalli will make use of the construction that she has already paid for by building a functional toilet.

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A look inside of the cement structure