Search this Site

Comments or Questions

Table of Contents:

1. Background
2. Design of Toilets
3. Composting
4. Construction -- Base & Vaults
5. Construction--Pad Fabrication
6. Construction--Superstructure
7. Finished!
8. Monitoring & Evaluation
9. EcoSan Resources



A Playground for Kovalam

Page 2

  Background: With the Japanese students, we have visited Kovalam on several occasions. The first time was February, 2005, two just months after the tsunami which destroyed many of the houses in Kovalam's fishing community and killed 8 people. (To see our video on Tsunami relief camps, Click Here.)

Few people, including the many NGOs that responded to the emergency, realized that the Dalit colonies were also badly affected. So, we decided to focus our 'development' efforts on this sector.

During a visit in July, 2006 Dave asked leaders of the Dalit community to come up with a project that would benefit everyone. They decided a children's playground should have first priority. The leaders chose a site on the grounds of a Hindu temple in "Kotai" colony.

Design: Back in Tokyo, members of the Japan Student's Fund raised about $1,000 for the playground and a Japanese architect, Mr. Hiroshi Wakabayashi, provided a design based on a playground he had designed for a school in Tokyo. (Click on thumbnails to the right.)
Construction: When we arrived back in Kovalam in March 2007, we realized we would have to modify the design because of our small budget and the difficulty of working in the colony. Dave sketched out a design in the sand and the villagers made a model from which we worked.
Material: The first step was to find the material. There are no "do it yourself" shops in India, you have to begin with the raw material--in this case unfinished teak logs.
When the logs were delivered to the site, the village women peeled them by hand and the young men erected them according to our 'model.'



To left, the young men of village who helped build the play structure.

Once everything was in place, the students began painting the structure, choosing bright colors.
After about a week, the play structure was finished!  

 See the children at play in this short video (CLICK HERE).