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Creating a Legacy of Eco Sanitation in Mathurantakanallur

Creating a Legacy of Eco Sanitation in Mathurantakanallur


In the aftermath of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2005, the coastal communities of Tamil Nadu were left reeling, especially villages like Mathurantakanallur in Cuddalore district. It was during this challenging time that Sanitation First, registered then in India and UK as Wherever the Need, stepped in to providing access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene to the vulnerable fishing community.

A Story of Transformation and Empowerment

Mathurantakanallur, with its 2000 residents, was in dire need of clean and safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities, both at home and in the local school. Sanitation First, in collaboration with a local NGO, embarked on a mission to address these pressing needs. Recognizing the importance of community involvement and sustainable solutions, they trained the fisherwomen as masons to build around 180 ecosan toilets, offering them an alternative livelihood while promoting disaster preparedness.

toilet thenThen
toilet nowNow

Inspiring Change, One Toilet at a Time

The impact of Sanitation First's work was profound, especially in the Panchayat Union Middle School where the first ecosan toilet block was constructed. The students embraced this innovative sanitation solution with enthusiasm, leading to a ripple effect in the community increasing the demand for household ecosan toilets. Ranjitha, a former student, exemplified this change when she insisted on a toilet in her new home after getting married, showcasing the power of education and awareness in driving behavioral change.

SFI blog Image

Sustaining a Legacy of Eco-Sanitation

Over the years, the ecosan toilet block at the school became a symbol of positive hygiene, health and sustainability. When the block was damaged during demolition of a nearby building during the Covid 19 lockdown, Sanitation First was more than happy to help renovate the facility for the ongoing benefit of the students. The re-inauguration of the toilet block in 2022 marked a nostalgic moment, with past students now parents, happily passing on the legacy of eco sanitation to the next generation.

Inauguration in 2005
blog imgInauguration in 2022

Building a Future of Health and Dignity

The journey of Sanitation First in Mathurantakanallur is a testament to the transformative power of our sustainable WASH initiatives. From providing clean drinking water to promoting proper waste management, our holistic approach in the village has not only improved health outcomes but also empowered communities to take charge of their well-being. As the first ecosan toilet continues to stand proudly, it serves as a beacon of hope and progress for generations to come.