Friday 14 August 2015

Author(s): Sushmita Sengupta

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  • you should go and check whether toilets have been constructed or not.....plz don't monitor govt or anyone else while staying and writing from a Air Conditioned room bcz you can't be aware of poverty situation without feeling the same

    Posted by: Mahesh Arora | 7 months ago | Reply
  • Dear All,
    Issues related to Safe Water and Sanitation, simply do not have the same resonance during implementation and the situation becomes more worse prominently under Sanitation Sector. I am very sorry that even after a long association with the works under rural Sanitation Sector in Assam, which is one of the North Eastern States in India, I don’t feel comfortable with the PACE and Achievement of our works. I really consider it as our failure that we could not create the enabling environment to find a better and committed workforce to work relentlessly for the Rural Sanitation. Even, the necessary support is also missing from all fronts to endorse "WASH for All :: All for WASH". There are some stakeholders, who agree to accept the declaration "WASH for ALL". But when their turn comes to deliver, they just ignore "All for WASH".
    WASH based approach for sustained infrastructure and Usage should be a new Goal with renewed focus on the following :
    (a) Water Safety and Security including Water Quality Monitoring and necessary precautionary / remediation measures.
    (b) Prioritising water scarce / quality affected regions.
    (c) The basic thrust needs to focus on Awareness and Social Norms on the importance of a Sanitary Toilet at every household levels.
    (d) Robust Monitoring mechanism for use and maintenance of Sanitation facilities to address bottlenecks leading to slipping back from coverage pattern.
    (e) Total Environmental Sanitation including the proper Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities.
    (f) Facilitating Operation and Maintenance for WASH infrastructures in households as well as Institutions like, Schools, Anganwadi Centres, Community oriented facilities etc. eventually to ensure sustainability.
    (g) Institutionalised approach for capacity development to establish social equity / norms for the all round development of the communities with special thrust for the marginalised sections.
    (h) Massive approach on Hygienic practices for personal / food Hygiene.
    (i) Aiming at meaningful and participatory involvement of all stakeholders to ensure eventual effectiveness of WASH activities. An important aspect is the inter-sectoral convergence. For example, the Stakeholders working in the Nutrition Sector should not consider only about the Food and their respective calorific value, but also about the importance of WASH practices to get maximum out of such calorific food values. As an instance, Mid-day Meal Programme is sponsored by Government in Schools keeping in view of importance on Nutrition, but the conditions in the schools, arising out of absence of an well maintained WASH facilities or the Hand Washing practices, should also not be ignored, which may eventually hamper the desired impacts.
    (j) Necessary efforts / thrust oriented action plan during EMERGENCY SITUATION causing large scale displacement of human habitat. Adequate WASH activities must be prioritised for such displaced population.
    (k) Impacts of regions specific Climate Change.
    (l) Establishment of Regional Task Force for Implementation and Monitoring.
    (m) Lastly and not the least, the political WILL and SUPPORT for establishing the desired mandate.
    So there is a NEED of a specific Approach in this regard to ensure 100% ACCESS to Sanitary Toilet and also for sustained Drinking Water Security ( Availability, Accessibility and Adequacy ) for ALL.
    Considering the UN resolution declaring the Access to Water and Sanitation as Human Right, the WASH activities have already been included as Individual Goal under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), unlike that included as a part of Goal No-7 ( Environmental Sustainability ) in earlier MDGs. The Goal No- 6 under proposed SDG is to Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Hence it is most likely now that improved WASH activities shall be prioritised in all fronts including Household and Community level to create far reaching impacts on HUMAN health.
    The CALL to the Nations is to adopt region / state specific POLICY / Agenda for all of the abovesaid approaches to address the issue of Well-being of Mankind and the Environmental Sustainability.
    So let us pledge - "WASH for ALL :: All for WASH".
    Thanking you.
    With Regards.
    Nripendra Kumar Sarma
    Nagaon, Assam, India

    Posted by: Nripendra Sarma | 7 months ago | Reply
  • I guess it is written by someone who doesn't know how numbers work. Let's take an example. we start construction of 10000 toilets on July 1 with a target of say 30 days. Nothing moves, the completion target at the end of 15th July was just 1000.

    The rate of toilet construction would be 1000/15=66.66. But work is in progress at other places. And they know that the deadline is before 30th July and the construction must end.

    Now let's say that another 2000 were reported to be complete by 25th July. Therefore, we see two data now. One is the rate of construction till now i.e. 3000/25=120 toilets per day and rate of construction between 15-25th July i.e. 2000/10=200 toilets per day.

    Now towards the end all toilets were built. So there are three data now -a) Total rate of construction - ie- 10000/30 = 333.33 b) rate of construction between 25th and 30th = 7000/5= 1400 per day and c) rate of construction between 15th and 30th = 9000/15= 300 toilets per day.

    Any infrastructure project that is being constructed will always be inflated towards the end. Period.

    Posted by: RaviM | 7 months ago | Reply
    • Dear Mr. Ravi

      Thank you so much for reading the article with interest and commenting. We are happy to know that you are also equally concerned about the state of toilet construction in the country.

      Its great to know that in any infrastructure project, although there may be a delay in initial period, at the end, the speed of construction really gears up. If that is the case then we should say that the officials have done a commendable job.

      Still one question remains - Are these toilets which are constructed at such great speed at the last phase are technologically sound, usable and with water connection? I think people have already started debating on it.

      If we say that every thing is working in these toilets built in the last phase of any project then there is no doubt that we are surely moving towards a better India.

      We once again thank you for letting us know how the construction rate is inflated in the last phase of any project.

      Posted by: Sushmita Sengupta | 7 months ago | Reply
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