Eco-logical Act

While other NGOs are involved in working for various human causes,this non-profit organisation is trying to contribute to the society in a unique way.

Written by Garima Mishra | Published: February 23, 2009 1:13 am

With innovative technological solutions, the non-profit organisation,Ecosan is protecting the human health and environment by reducing the use of water in sanitation systems

While other NGOs are involved in working for various human causes,this non-profit organisation is trying to contribute to the society in a unique way. Ecosan Services Foundation provides full ecological sanitation project packages including consulting,project planning,implementation,operation,maintenance and project financing. Ecosan recently received a UNESCO sponsored award by Water Digets – Best NGO working for water education in India.

Founder director,Ecosan Services Foundation (ESF),Dayanand Panse says,”Problem of sanitation in India is very critical and the available conventional solutions consume a lot of water and also degrade the environment. Alternative sanitation system not only reduces the cost but also helps in waste management. The objective is to reuse nutrients and water contained in wastewater for agriculture,horticulture or wasteland greening,instead of disposing them into rivers or lakes where there are chances of contamination of water resources.” The objective is to protect human health and the environment while reducing the use of water in sanitation systems and recycling nutrients.

The idea of starting ECF originated in April 2004,when Panse attended a workshop conducted by German Development Co-operation. After which,he went to Norway to pursue a one-week diploma course in Appropriate Technology for Developing Countries by University of Life Sciences. Alongside he was working on organising international conference on Ecosan. After considering responses and feedbacks from individuals,institutes and government bodies,he decided to set up ESF. It was established in the year 2006,registered at Pune,having activities all over India in association with Innovative Ecological Sanitation Network of India,IESNI.

Ecosan claims to be the only non-profit organisation providing ecological sanitation services to urban local bodies,state governments,NGOS,companies and developers across Maharashtra. Prashant Mahagaokar,co-director says,”More than 650 million Indians do not have the access to basic sanitation facilities and hence there is huge demand that cannot be met by the conventional sanitation systems due to high cost involved. Considering this we developed solutions which are cost effective and sustainable.”

The ESF is applying various technological solutions such as urine-diversion dehydration (UDD) toilets,biogas sanitation-onsite treatment,biogas sanitation-offsite treatment and grey water management. These technologies find application in single households,small schools,community toilets,hotels,rural and pre-urban areas. Also it provides an internet-based Ecosan e-learning training course in ecological sanitation,which enables the participants to design plan and implement their own projects based on the training received.

At present ESF is working on projects at Badlapur Adarsh Vidyaprasarak Sanstha College,Sarole Pather Tribal Boarding School and Nasik Research and Training Centre. Some of the concluded projects carried out by ESF are UDD toilet centres at Navsarjan Primary boarding school,ACTS Ecosan pilot project,Bangalore and Oak Farm near Karjat,district Raigad.

Benefits of ecological sanitation
* Recycled nutrients can be a good substitute to expensive artificial fertilizers
* Consumes less energy than conventional sanitation systems
* Lower running and maintenance cost
* Reduction in disease transmission due to treatment of excreta and destruction of pathogens
* Clean,hygienic and affordable solutions

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