We are thankful to  Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation Limited for sponsoring the project.


Problem Statement

The primary focus of the study was to solve the problems related to sanitation faced by the Agariyas in the Rann where they live for eight months during the salt farming season. Several factors contribute to the practice of open defecation like: Due to lack of sufficient potable water, lack of toilets, as a part of the wild ass sanctuary they cannot build permanent structures, etc. Moreover, the location of their huts change every year owing to the availability of underground saline water from which they make salt and the area gets inundated and turns swampy in the monsoons every year. So, they need portable toilets which they could carry with them when they move out and carry back when they come back to the Rann.  The vast open lands without any trees or obstructing structures compel women to defecate only at night to protect their modesty.  This also impacts their health, something holding their bladder for many hours. Ladies drink less water to avoid going to urinate, which again is bad for their health. The problem is agravated during the menstruation.   During emergencies, people walk away to a distance of around 500 meters from the hut and defecate by covering one side with help of a shawl, a motorbike, or plastic. But defecating in the open makes them vulnerable to many kinds of health risks as well. like when women hold up and control their bladder during the daytime which causes damage to their health. 

Another major factor that restricts the use of toilets in the Rann is waste management. There is no drainage or waste management facility available in the Rann. Usually, uncontrolled disposal of excreta in soil or water can cause several pathogenic diseases. But due to excess land availability, no  maintenance, and absence of smell in the open, they defecate and leave the waste in the open as very little water (750ml) is required this way. 

Trials and testing

Four designs were installed for use by the community. Feedback on them was collected.  The locals said that the water scarcity is the biggest issue and the design structure installed in other three mandalis were not good enough and hence not in use. The other three locals who were residing in different mandalis recommended that upper structure at Chamunda mandali is the best one.

While visiting we came to know that the toilet design  required further modification  as there is high wind. We also came to know that foul smell came from the toilets after a weeks usage as there was no escape from the tank underneath. Hence, an outlet was provided for the gases emanating from putrefaction in the tank beneath. This solved the problem of smell.

The final Design and installation of 25 toilets in different mandalis

The final design  consisted of a prefabricated foldable structure in which the sides are joined with hinges, so two sides fold into one. The base pipes will rest inside deep in the ground and the top was covered for extra support and shade.

To install the toilet in Rann we first dug a pit of 3×3 feet and after digging we first opened up the sides and inserted the pin in the hinge between the two sides and closed the door. Then we inserted the roof into the pipes on top and fastened them using nut and bolt. After completing the structure, we installed the toilet seat above the pit by providing two iron supports below the toilet seat and then putting the structure above the seat. Later we covered the pit from the top and installed a ventilation pipe from the pit. Support was provided at  the base of the seat to be able to bear  the load of people on the seat.  The seat on installed on top and it was ready to be used. The structure is strong, highly durable and could resist wind.

The lists of different mandalis are as mentioned below-

Sr. No Agariya name  Mandali name Latitude and Longitude
1 Vijuben Dasrathbhai Chhathi 23°1764 N, 71°6734 E
2 Ranjanben Laghrabhai Himatpura 23°1664 N, 71°6213 E
3 Godavariben Dashrathbhai Bajana 23°1999 N, 71°5696 E
4 Rekhaben Ashokbhai Soma sahkari 23°2120 N, 71°539317 E
5 Poonamben Maheshbai Navi naranpura 23°2426 N, 71°54771 E
6 Bachiben Labhubhai Jesda 23°2147 N, 71°4660 E
7 Gauriben Bhopabhai Alok 23°2101 N, 71°6391 E
8 Geetaben Vinodbhai Odu 7 23°1952 N, 71°6879 E
9 Heeraben Karamsinhbhai Nagbai 23°2494 N, 71°4490 E
10 Kanubhai bhala Naranpura 3 23°2185 N, 71°5570E
11 Kunvarben Ishwarbhai Vispatha 23°2223 N, 71°6221 E
12 Madhuben Maheshbhai Juni Naranpura 23°1031 N, 71°5603 E
13 Madhuben Melabhai Odu 1 23°2528 N, 71°6523 E
14 Menaben Bharatbhai Ganesh 23°2247 N, 71°5089 E
15 Mukeshbhai  Ashok 23°1072 N, 71°5676 E
16 Rameelaben Baldevbhai lakki mandli 23°2511 N, 71°5764 E
17 Rameelaben Maheshbhai 10 acre 5 23°1530 N, 71°4065 E
18 Rekhaben Rajeekbhai Navi Malvan 23°2219 N, 71°6775 E
19 Rinkuben Sanjaybhai Band pada 23°2790 N, 71°5423 E
20 Sonalben Rajubhai Odu sahkari 23°2619 N, 71°6391 E
21 Sumitraben Ashokbhai Bhanu 23°2246 N, 71°5090 E
22 Samjuben Melabhai Chamuda 23°2022 N, 71°5931 E
23 Mukeshbhai 2 Shiv Shakti 23°2188 N, 71°6021E
24 Maheshbhai Chandubhai Shiv Shakti 23°2077 N, 71°5821E
25. Rameshbhai Jivabhai 10 Acre 23°1977N, 71°5861 E