Community Sanitation Program BHATTEDANDA VILLAGE, NEPAL

PROJECT OVERVIEW: For the first time in over 600 years, a significant Buddhist holy site in Nepal has a safe and well-functioning toilet. Bhattedanda villagers were in need of a community toilet/shower block at their Buddhist stupa, a site where more than 300 people from surrounding villages might gather for religious observations. A nearby gompa accommodates visiting Lama priests who come for prayer and meditation. But there were no public sanitation facilities. Since 2007 the villagers had participated in a Village Sanitation Program and appreciated the benefits of improved sanitation. Under the guidance of Australian architect Paul Pholeros, toilet buildings with rainwater storage tanks were designed, and then built with septic or biogas waste systems. The villagers developed skills in construction, bricklaying, rendering, plumbing and project management. Paul’s organisation Healthabitat was awarded the 2011 World Habitat Award, and in 2013 Paul conducted a WHA peer exchange in the village of Bhattedanda, attended by South Asian community architects and sanitation experts. After his untimely death in 2016, the Paul Pholeros Foundation was established to continue his commitment to improving peoples' lives through delivering practical solutions to address local needs. In 2019 a PPF plumbing team worked with local tradespeople to install quality plumbing infrastructure into the community toilet/shower block, and a rainwater harvesting tank . The villagers have dedicated the block to Paul.

CATEGORY: Civil Society SETTING: Rural STATUS: Completed

BY: Paul Pholeros Foundation

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The villagers requested the project, defined the location, identified local construction teams, labourers and external contractors, worked with the local women’s group to make sure the toilets and shower systems addressed their needs, and coordinated with the local municipality for support and cooperation in maintenance and cleaning of the sanitation block. A caretaker and his wife live in a small house at the site. The Foundation used the services of young volunteer architects to design the block in consultation with the villagers and supported the plumbing team who worked with the local construction team and plumbers, sharing knowledge and skills throughout the process to provide quality plumbing infrastructure.

PARTNERS: Australia: Paul Pholeros Foundation and Rotary Australia. Nepal: Dhulikhel Hospital and Dhulikhel Municipality; Bhattedanda village development committee and women’s group for local leadership and guidance. The PPF had oversight of the project and provided an Australian plumbing team. Rotary Australia funded the project. Dhulikhel Hospital partnered to provide public health awareness and hygiene training for the villagers. Dhulikhel Municipality will assist with future maintenance needs.