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Friday, 18 January 2013

Need Behavior Change Towards Sanitation

18th Jan 2013
By Gaurav Kashyap

What is sanitation?

Sanitation is broad term refer to disposal and management of solid waste, waste water human and cattle excreta etc. In such a way that is does not affect adversely domestic personal hygiene. Sanitation is very important for human health. It contribute to clean and improved environment, social development and generate significant economic benefits. In India 736 million [71.7%] people out of total population of 1027 million lack basic sanitation facilities which results in high mortality and morbidity. In Developing countries, 80% of the diseases cause by is human excreta. 50 types of infections can e transmitted from disease persons to healthy ones by various direct and indirect roots from human excreta. Human excreta are the most hated object and anything connected with the latrine is considered so defiling that in India in the past. It is untouched from the past because of religious taboos.
Sanitation has, however been seen as a matter of individual understanding and initiative rather than a collective responsibility of the community.
In this fast changing world, Investment in sanitation is given very low priority.
“Instead of open defecation, Toilets are their Birth Right.” India is home to 638 million people defecating in the open. People have everything in their Home from TV set to Mobile Phones, but they don’t have Toilet Facilities!
"Investment In Sanitation is Investment In Development "Open Defecation is an ugly reminder of the country’s poverty and the failure of the Government to provide adequate  Safe water & sanitation facilities .There is urgent need from philanthropist and government and non-government agencies to must invest in safe drinking water and sanitation facilities . For every $1 spent on sanitation at least $9 is saved in health ,education and economic development ,Tackling the problem of inadequate sanitation not only require building infrastructure but creating awareness of the issue .For holistic development of the society we must invest in safe drinking water and sanitation facilities .
Investment in sanitation is as important as investment in other economic activities.
Government is putting huge investment in those project which bring great benefits (in term of money ) for rich class, and very less investment in sanitation , which affect major section of Indian society who are SC &ST and lower Income Group.
Government spending on sanitation and drinking water is very low. Government spending had declined from 0.59% of GDP in 2008-2009 to 0.54%in 2009-10, and further to 0.42% in 2010-2011.
According to the World Bank Study, and proper sanitation facilities cost India Nearly $54Billion in a Year. Which result in high spreading of disease, low production, and low social and economic development?
A UN study in 2010 says, In India more people are access to mobile phone than to a Toilets. In India around 894 million (approx.) are mobile subscriber. But Just  366 Million people had access to proper sanitation facilities .A Recent Report of UNICEF says 638 m, people (54%) defecate  in the open in India ,7% in brazil and Bangladesh In India ,only 6% children in rural areas who were below five year used toilets . Only 50% of all Indian regularly wash their hands with soap after contact with excreta.
Union Minister Shree Jairam Ramesh has called for making India “An Open Defecation Free Country by 2017”.Our Population will not going to be a healthy if we do not have sanitation and safe drinking water facilities, To see our population as healthy we need to invest in sanitation and water.
Total sanitation campaign launched in 2003-2004. It is implemented as a community led and people – centric approach to generate effective demand for sanitation facilities through creating awareness among village communites, educating them and providing all required information that can help them to avail government schemes.
In our Sanitation campaign we need active participation of all section of society, including, SC,ST and women. Encourage women and girls to actively participate in the sanitation programme.
The Nirmal Gram Puraskar incentive scheme has been launched to encourage panchayati raj institution to attain a 100% open defecation – free environment .Sikkim has become the first state to receive the award .Our task should not only confined to construction of Toilets but also ensure that they are in working condition , keeping clean and maintain properly . and for all this we need a Behavioural change .Government of India first socio-economic census and comprehensive population survey 2011,reveals development on certain basic amenities to sustain human life .only 17.9% rural households  have access to treated source of tap water as against 62.0% urban households. Only 30.7% rural households have latrine facilities as compared to 81.4% urban households.63.2% rural households have toilets with no drainage as against meagre 18.2% urban households .According to census 2011,at national level only 32.7% households have toilets facilities .  The states with households more than national average include kerala 94.40%,goa 72.6%, Punjab 71.9%, himachal 67.5% Haryana 57.7%.whereas the states households below national average include ,Jharkhand 8.3% ,Madhya Pradesh  13.6%, odisha 15.3%, bihar 18%, uttar Pradesh 22.9%.
There is an urgent need to bring a change in the behaviour of the people , people may agree to use toilet , but , it is challenging task to change to new habit ,where for generation they have been used to open defecation .
Poor sanitation facilities are serious problem for our country , reason are ,traditional and cultural reason , lack of education , SC,ST and lower income group are not aware of the importance of sanitation for better health and clean environment, low sanitation coverage due to inadequate and lack of efforts to create awareness among rural households ,lack of motivation to have toilets facilities , lack of affordable sanitation technology and trained implementing agencies , non – availability of toilets , lack of skilled man power.
There should be urgent demand for a nationwide campaign to make people fully aware of the adverse effect of open defecation. a massive campaign has to be launched  through all means of communication , to include school children ,youth ,girls, and women .they should know that they should not go barefoot for open defecation, always cover the human excreta with soil to prevent flies sitting on excreta.
There should be a compulsory subject on sanitation and water in the primary school.  To teach student about the sanitation, clean water, and hygiene practices.
Our main objective is to create a society where people get safe hygiene toilets, especially women. To save herself from open defecation. We can get a healthy society only if we have safe drinking water and hygiene sanitation facilities .Sanitation, society and health are directly related to each other. We have to consider water and sanitation as one sector rather than separate.
For construction of Toilets we need latest technology which is environment friendly. , no uniform design of toilets should be forced on user or beneficiaries. User of toilets should be free to select design of her /his toilets.
NGO play a vital role in the social ,economic and political development of our country .NGO and Volunteer play important role in door to door contact in creating awareness among people about sanitation and water . NGO should have excellent expertise and good infrastructure to implement their projects. Public toilets should be preferably constructed by NGO, who can also be entrusted with the responsibility to maintain on a pay and use basis.
Most of the school in rural areas and urban slums do not have proper toilets; especially toilets for girls are in very low number. Girl feels ashamed to use common toilets. in rural areas girls have to go to the field for relive themselves . Which is a big question mark for their security? There is also increase drop –out rates particularly of girl student.

Individual donor, insurance companies, corporate house, business community, private companies and NRIs etc. Can consider providing toilets facilities.

Our environment is badly affected, Due to bad sanitation facilities, rivers are polluted due to untreated sewage. Our ground water also affected which results in deterioration of community health. Septic tank system is also expensive and requires a large volume of water for flushing. There is shortage of drinking water in almost all urban areas. “Water is precious, we have to use it very judiciously “.

India as a Emerging economy have to resolve the problem of open defecation and providing toilets facilities with piped sewer system for disposal of human waste from long term perspective.

We need support form national and international agencies and developed countries to provide their experience and expertise.

You can reach to the author at gaurav@heeals.org

Connect with us and our work at www.heeals.org

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