Tiruchirappalli shows the way

In most slum communities of South Asia, the sanitation situation is deplorable, healthy living is impossible and the disease burden is heavy, especially for women and children. Lack of basic sanitation and adequate water for bathing and washing clothes is an acute problem and an infringement of human dignity and rights. Governments lack sensitivity to these issues and as towns and cities grow, they do not seem to be prepared to tackle this looming crisis. The city of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, India shows a way out of this crisis. The Tiruchirappalli model of community-managed toilets with bathing and washing facilities is an example of a partnership between sensitive city authorities, communities and NGOs, working together to address these problems. The work undertaken by these partners over the last six years has demonstrated how this can be taken to scale at the city-level. Within the next two years, it is expected that all slum communities in the city will be covered by community-managed toilets (CMTs).

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