Blue Planet Network encourages the funding of water and sanitation projects that have 100% consensus and participation from the residents of a village. The reason this is crucial is both because changes will be necessary in personal hygiene practices to prevent fouling the ground water, and because everyone’s efforts will be required for the construction and maintenance of the new facilities. Each family contributes about $22, plus their labor. Families who cannot afford the monetary contribution provide extra labor.
The first step in the process is to identify a source of water and to build indoor sanitation facilities for each home. With this important step, the common practice of defecating in the open can be given up, and the new clean water supply will not be threatened. Understandably, it requires a strong commitment by all. A toilet and a bathing area are constructed next to each family’s dwelling. In addition, if the house structure can accommodate it, there is a water tap placed in the kitchen.
Interestingly, the sanitation facility has two septic tanks attached. One is used until full, and then the waste is diverted to the second tank. Once the content of the first tank has dried completely, it will be used as fertilizer in the agricultural fields.
Gravity flow solutions, which have no moving parts and do not require electricity, are preferred as the most economical and sustainable approach. However, where these are not feasible, dug wells and electric pumps are utilized.
In either case, from the water source a trench is dug for the water pipe.
Sometimes the water source may be as far as 2 to 3 miles away, and the digging of the trench and the laying of the water pipe may take months. In most cases, the water pipe feeds a water tower which then feeds the individual facilities.