Kachhpura Toilets

Sunitas-houseseptictanksectionv2 P1010656Upgrading Project – Household Toilets, Kachhpura Settlement, Agra (India), 2007

London Metropolitan University

The Kachhpura Settlement Upgrading Project (KSUP) began in 2007 with the construction of individual household septic tank toilets. To date, over 200 toilets have been constructed in Kachhpura and other trans-Yamuna settlements. Imagining, representing, advocating and initiating construction of internal household toilets has resulted in the snowballing impact of the project. The local authority has now agreed to fund construction of toilets in the remaining 250 households in Kachhpura, in an aim to create the ‘first defecation free slum in Agra’.

The first phase of the Kachhpura live sanitation project was carried out by four students over the summer of 2007 with women householders in one street. Meera was the first householder to have an improved septic tank toilet system fitted into her courtyard. A knock on effect took place with eight other householders in the street installing toilets and as a result the street was renamed ‘Swaach Gali’ (Clean Street). The success of these early prototypes prompted a steady take up elsewhere in the village. Led by the women’s self help group and helped by loans and a revolving Community Credit Fund a number of Toilet Savings Groups were established by village women.

Students ran a number of hygiene awareness workshops within the village school encouraging a broader and more explicit discourse on the project within the village as a whole. Students were also physically involved in the process of improving septic tank manufacture and cubicle construction; streamlining the process and making adjustments to the design to help them fit the slightly different locations.

Clients: Residents of Kachhpura settlement, Agra

NGO Partner: Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE)

Tutor: Professor Maurice Mitchell

Students: Bo Tang, Shamoon Patwari, Kasia Banak, Spencer Owen

Research Question: What is the role of collaborative architectural making as a catalyst for civic empowerment?

Link: Project Site

+, 0-10, Architecture, Client-funded, Collaboration, Curricular, Extra-curricular, India, London Metropolitan Univ., Months, Permanent, Postgraduate, Propositional, Self-funded, Students with tutor