Mobile toilets, not of real help to flood victims

Mobile toilets, not of real help to flood victims

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike was quick to send mobile toilets to relief camps in Kodagu to ensure that there won’t be open defecation in turn leading to outbreak of health hazards. However, hardly anyone is using them here.

At Mythri Hall, which has only two toilets for nearly 300 inmates displaced from their homes, 12 toilets have been set up in the backyard. However, inmates said they prefer to stand in queue and wait for their turn in front of toilets in the building. “In the mobile toilets, there is no light or water supply. We have to carry water in buckets, which occupies the entire floor space as the area is small. Even during daytime it feels like night once you enter these toilets,” said Deepak G, whose last name is withheld to protect his identity.

However, he said he would rather not complain. “We are grateful for the people who are helping us at a time when we have nothing. Officials have to ensure better facilities. If we complain, we will be seen as ungrateful,” he said.

Sunil, another inmate, said at night the path to the toilets is also dark as there were no lights in the backyard. “Due to the rains, the ground is filled with sludge. Anyone can enter the toilet and see how it shakes. Nobody goes there,” he said.

At Suntikoppa, about 20 mobile toilets have been set up to ensure that people tired of waiting at the four permanent toilets, which are not in good shape, will not go for open defecation. People have to walk through a five-foot wide lane filled with sludge and climb steps to reach the toilet.

“The mobile toilets are totally inaccessible. They have been installed on an elevated area and people have to climb steps to reach them. It’s a pathetic condition but there is no other place near madarasa. Nearly two weeks after the disaster, people are still in the initial response mode. They should have shifted the relief camp to a better place by now,” a volunteer in the madarasa, which has been turned into a relief camp, said.

At Ambedkar Bhavan, there are three regular toilets and no mobile toilets have been set up. The inmates said they stand in queue for hours or rush to nearby hotels, which they try to avoid as much as possible.