Project - Living Earth Institute

Living Earth Institute

See our updated report on the project completion.

This project is serving 650 households which include almost 4000 individuals. LEI has been working with a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Development Alternative Organization (Bikas Bikalpa Sanstha, BBS), to implement a strong community sanitation program incorporating training programs, women's micro-lending and income generation programs, and other elements to ensure project sustainability. So far, BBS has constructed over 300 composting family latrines. Each family toilet system costs $200 and is built on a cost-sharing basis, under which the family provides the labor and bears the cost of local construction material (about 50% of the total cost); the remaining cost is borne by the LEI project.

The sanitation component involves education on construction, health awareness, and sanitation practices. The toilet system design creates a fully compostable toilet that is easy to use, culturally appropriate and ultimately creates a fertilizer for use in farming and gardening. Nepali engineers hired by LEI originally designed this toilet technology in Nepal. Since there is a solid and well documented link between sanitation and public health, LEI insists on adequate sanitation prior to the implementation of clean water project components. We strongly believe that without community sanitation, there cannot be clean water.

Working with the local NGOs, such as the BBS in Nepal exemplifies LEI's approach to engaging with a local organization intimately in order to organize the community, design the projects, and implement the project components successfully. LEI uses only local labor and expertise in all elements of the project organization, design and implementation. This not only makes the work extremely cost effective, but also leave a legacy of trained and organized components in the community that can provide benefits well beyond the sanitation and water supply project.