In the heart of the Kathmandu city, Jagaran Basti – a squatter community lives on the unclaimed lands along the Bagmati River. Packed like sardines in a can, it holds about 400 households. The public toilets present there are in a delicate and serious condition as their numbers are low; the count is 10.

Only one-third of the households have toilets in their houses whereas the rest don’t have any other option than to use the public ones. With 99 percent of the children attending schools, there is bound to be a queue in the morning rush hour and sometimes a heightened sense of urgency among some residents leaves them to use the “flying toilet”. Residents use polythene bags to dispose of human waste, saving them the time and energy to rush to an overcrowded toilet and relieve themselves in the privacy of their homes. Then, they throw them as far as possible (mostly in the river) from their homes, hence the phenomenon “flying toilet”.

Report by Lumi Shrestha