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The first Ecological Sanitaryware Mart in India, possibly the first in S Asia, opened on 28 November 2005 in Trivandrum District, Kerala. The ceremony was marked by the cutting of a ribbon by the Government Secretary PHED Madya Pradesh, Mr Rakesh Agarwal IAS. The Eco-Sanitary Mart will be a focal point for ecological sanitation work in the area offering advice and construction services to the community and selling the ecopan, a urine-diverting toilet pan.

Responding to the Madhya Pradesh Governments’ keen interest in ecosan Paul Calvert and Veena M of ECOSOLUTIONS presented a copy of the book Ecological Solutions to Flush Toilet Failures to the Secretary. Mr Rakesh Agarwal IAS and a team from Madhya Pradesh including Collectors and CEOs of six Districts were visiting ECOSOLUTIONS’ celebration of 11 Years of Ecological Sanitation work in Kerala. This work, which pioneered urine-diverting toilets in India in 1994, has created a sea-change in sanitation development across S Asia. The ecosan approach to sanitation puts an end to concept of sewage and waste and replaces it with that of harvesting valuable resources. Ecosan systems and the eco-toilets produce useful fertiliser and soil improvers for agriculture and protect ground water and rivers from sewage pollution.

UNICEF, who now endorse the ecosan approach, encouraged the MP government to visit this outstanding example. Mr Pawan Kumar, UNICEF Assistant Project Officer Bhopal, and Ms Suma Matthew from SEUF Trivandrum were also present to learn about the project.

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