Facebook reactions to use of urine at a rooftop garden: Creative work; looks doubled organically; Khana auna paryo ki kya ho? (could I come to eat); chakra ji hamilai pani kitchen garden dekhaunus so that we can grow vegetable (pls show us your garden to manage at my place), Gajab ko lead farmer, (good leader farmer), कस्तो राम्रो तरिका हामरो सिकुन सबै ले "पिसाब काे मल लेनटरमा तरकारि" (fertilizer human urine and vegetable being grown in the roof); send the location of this place; garma ta organic khane ani bahira hidda ke hunchha? blight baata jogaine updya ke chha? organic le blightbaata jagaune sakdaina ki ke ho? (Organic vegetable at home, what to eat outside? and does it control blight?); IMP practice ko lagi congrat (congratulation for IPM practice); Novel work of hardworking family, Great to see rooftop vegetable; always good to teach by demonstration; You are model; Keep it up and disseminate; Practical education to kids etc.!
The term productive sanitation can refer to a variety of sanitation systems that make productive use of the nutrients, organic matter, water and energy content of human excreta, urine and wastewater in agricultural production and aquaculture. This is a real option for soil fertility conservation as well as for increasing agricultural productivity. It can directly contribute to food security and help to reduce malnutrition. While productive sanitation makes sense, its implementation and scaling up in practice is not easy in many ways. One of the barriers is that many people just do not want to deal with this resource directly, even if practicing open defecation does not seem to be a problem! On the other hand, human urine from healthy people is perfectly safe to use.
Scaling up productive sanitation calls for awareness raising, advocacy and behavioral change. It also calls for continued research and development of the ways to use the urine and excreta in such a way that it is convenient and rewarding for the users while it is also safe. We all can contribute our experience to the public debate. Social media opens up many opportunities to do this, and to reach to the people who are not talking about sanitation daily as some of us do.
In 2009, he started using also urine after the RVWRMP Phase I had piloted ecological sanitation. Urine for his rooftop garden is now collected from his 5 member family. It is mixed with water with the ratio 1:10 for the seedlings in the nursery bed, 1:5-6 for the growing plants and 1:4 for the matured plants. This is applied once a week for seedlings, and once or twice for the fruiting plants based on the situation. The mixture is made in the watering jar directly.
There have been a number of varieties at this garden, some experimental:
Fruit plants: avocado (two plants 4 yrs old) likely fruiting, pomegranate (one plant 3 yrs old) at flowering stage, olive oil (one plant-7 yrs old) yet to see the flowering- transplanted just to see if it could be grown in Terai.
The roof top garden has also a number of seasonal flowers. Except for these flowers, all products are edible. Out of these, the new, experimental, rare ones, not typical for Dhangadhi, include purple radish (burpee white), avocado, balsam apple (barela), 120 days pigeon pea, pomegranate in mud pot, stevia, lettuce, asparagus, mint, and also stinging nettle.
This year Chakra has piloted a ‘120 days pigeon pea’, drought resistant new variety from Uttarkhand, India. He grew four plants with an average 1 kg production yield using the fish freezer box as the base for the plants. Bivekananda Agriculture University, Uttarakhanda, India, provided these seeds for the RVWRMP’s livelihoods activities.
In 2012/13 Chakra started posting his experience on Facebook. Among the other garden related topics, he also shared that he was using urine, about its effectiveness and the results. In one posting he shared his findings from an experiment with cow dung, human urine and control.
The reactions from the readers could be described as wonderful. “Whoever visits my house, their first interest is the garden. Sometimes I get telephone calls too”, Chakra tells. The queries include how to maintain moisture, mulching technology, pots used for roof top, plastic use etc. Even the staff from the Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Himanchal Pradesh, India, asked about the garden that they saw on Facebook during a study tour in 2015.” Chakra believes that “there is a lot of interest in this practice as verified by the queries over telephone and on Facebook”.
Chakra has 1,778 Facebook followers. Almost all his posts receive attention: "If I recall correctly, the most liked post was showing all my plants with Nepali, English and botanical names. My kids had googled the names and tagged all the plants themselves".