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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

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

"Water & Sanitation Crisis "

Water is the most precious natural resource for sustaining life and environment, huge pollution , deforestation  and increasing population pressure lead to its depletion at a alarming rate .
In India water crisis severely effect one in every three person , fresh water which have always thought to be available in abundance is very scare in comparison to total water present on earth .
The Amount of fresh water /capita would be enough to meet human needs if it were properly distributed , there should be an equal distribution of water throughout the society . There was no proper emphasise on water quality , prevention of Pollution of drinking water  and education for public in conservation of the quantity and quality of water through awareness campaign , community participation and health education programs .Drinking water problem is not only in Terms of availability of quantity but also quality of the water available . We need to increase the availability if drinking water in term of quantity and as well as quality .
There is a Increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide, there is a urgent need at both international and national level to increase integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources.
The united nation predicts that by 2025, two third of the population will experience water shortage, affecting life and livelihoods of 1.8b. According to the UN world water assignment program by 2050, 7 billion people in 60 countries cope with water scarcity. The fundamental right of individual, as far as availability of safe drinking water is concern it ranks 120th in the list of 122 countries. According to the country representative of water aid in India, 50%of village do not have protected drinking water, in India approx Rs 6700cr annually spent on treatment of water – borne disease.
Water scarcity already affect every continent and it is getting worse due to population growth ,urbanization and the increase in domestic and industrial water use. Many places do not have sufficient water to meet demand, with the result that aquifer depletion due to over extraction is common, scarcity of water is accompanied by deterioration in the quality of available water due to pollution and environment degradation. Agriculture production of India can be reduced because of aquifer depletion. The amount of water in the world is finite. A third of the world’s population lives in water stressed countries now. By 2025 this is expected to rise to two-third.
The UN recommended that people need a minimum of 50liters of water a day for drinking, washing, cooking and sanitation. In 1990, over a billion people did not have even that. Providing universal access to that basic minimum worldwide by 2015 would take less than 1% of the amount of water we use today. There  was no proper emphasis on water quality till the end of the 6th five year plan and before launching the national drinking water mission in 1986.the primary objective of the mission included monitoring the quality of water after identification of problems ,tackling the same by the application of science and technology to ensure that the water available is of acceptance quality and ensure that the quantity and quality of water is sustainable on a long term basis by proper water management technique and implementation of management information system .
India is the second largest irrigated area in the world, but due to the rapid expansion of irrigation with its emphasis on new construction, irrigation performance and the sector’s increasing management needs have not received adequate attention, irrigation productivity is low. The Non Optimal  distribution of water results in low yields and cropping intensity and reduced opportunities for diversifying agriculture as do deteriorating infrastructure ,limited research on irrigation technology ,insufficient piloting of innovation. Over exploitation of ground water consequently leads to ground water depletion and reduction in water quality as well .Water form the backbone for all the future endeavours to achieve the vision of food security. The projected food requirement in 2050 demands a pronounced role for research, development and training in the water and agriculture sector. Capacity building through technological upgradation and knowledge dissemination will play a pivotal role in translating the vision into reality.
The total sanitation campaign of central Govt. has made some progress but still far from the needy one and we need to reach to those needy One!
With empowerment of women in the field of sanitation we can achieve better results in a shorter period .there special role in the field of awareness generation on safe drinking water, hygiene practices and sanitation is very appreciating.
Special attention is being paid on menstrual hygiene as a number of girls drop out from schools due to lack of facility in schools for disposal of sanitary pads Only 31 per cent of India’s population use improved sanitation (2008).  In rural India 21 per cent use improved sanitation facilities (2008). India is home to 638 million people defecating in the open; over 50 per cent of the population.
There is a Low awareness of the potential health and economic benefit of better sanitation and hygiene practice.
Measures to Overcome Water & Sanitation Crises
We can overcome from water crisis by protection of forest soil and water resources.
Promotion and coordination of traditional and environment friendly technologies in agriculture and water conservation.
Water conservation measures form domestic level,
Rain water harnessing
Ensure recharging of ground water, to meet increasing dependability on ground water.
Improvement of irrigation technology to avoid overuse and loss of water conveyance.
Good network of data collecting centre.