Problem Addressed

Most schools are without water, sanitation and solid waste management facilities, which, where available, are nevertheless inadequate for use. This is one of the key causes of Indian students missing nearly 200 million schooldays per year. Where no toilet block is set aside for girls, parents often won’t allow their daughters to attend school. This fuels the gender discrepancy in primary school completion rates. According to recent estimates, one in four girls do not complete primary school, as compared to one in seven boys.

Innovative Approach

Reap Benefit’s integrated approach combines behavior change, the co-development of solutions with stakeholders, and reward-based financing. This leads to a holistic, long-term, data-driven, self-governing solution to the issue of waste water sanitation in schools in India. Their approach combines hardware and software components that are necessary to produce a healthy school environment and support safe hygiene behaviors. Their innovative reward-based financing structure incentivizes schools to maintain adequate sanitation facilities.

Reap Benefit - Going green in Government Schools

Program Solution

Reap Benefit addresses both the lack of adequate sanitation facilities in schools and the accompanying behavior change that needs to take place in order for these facilities to be used and maintained. To address the behavior change needed, they have built a reward based financing mechanism: if students maintain a sanitation-water-waste system, then schools are rewarded with either a water filter, library, sports equipment, or learning aids using corporate social responsibility funds. This enhances the school experience and incentivizes the adoption of sanitation-friendly behavior.

Reap Benefit has also developed a number of innovative sanitation solutions. The first is a do-it-yourself, low-cost, waterless urinal designed from discarded PET bottles. These waterless urinals are engineered to eliminate foul odors, control mosquitoes, and eliminate the usage of water, thus leading to water optimization, good hygiene habits, and better health. Another innovation is their low cost grey water treatment. Water used for washing utensils, hands etc will be treated using a low cost filter and used for sanitation and gardening. On average, their systems reuse about 40% of total water consumption. Third, Reap Benefit has developed a system which turns food waste from midday meals into compost using bacteria and enzymes.