Category Archives: South Asia

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India?

Can collective action strategies motivate behavior change to reduce open defecation in rural India? Waterlines, April 2016.

Authors: Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Diane Coffey. RICE Institute.

The world’s remaining open defecation is increasingly concentrated in rural India. The Indian government’s efforts to reduce open defecation by providing subsidies for latrine construction have been largely unsuccessful in addressing the problem. It is now clear that behavior change must be the priority if progress on ending open defecation is to be made.

While community-led strategies have proven effective in various developing country contexts, there are serious reasons to question whether similar methods can work in rural India.  Through both quantitative and qualitative analyses, we find that strict social hierarchies that continue to govern daily interactions in rural life today obstruct the spirit of cooperation upon which such methods rely.

Additionally, caste-based notions of purity and pollution make the simple latrines used all over the developing world unattractive to rural Indians.  In a context where people identify most closely with their caste and religious groups rather than their geographical villages, our findings suggest that a more nuanced understanding of the idea of “community” is required.  More experimentation, both with community-led and other strategies, is needed in order to effectively move from open defecation to latrine use in rural India.

Bangladesh: First South Asian Nation To Become Open-Defecation Free – Analysis

Bangladesh: First South Asian Nation To Become Open-Defecation Free – Analysis | Source: Eurasia Review, May 9 2016 |

Bangladesh, once described as “bottomless basket”, has achieved remarkable success in many aspects of social sector, including sanitation. The strong political will of the government and an inclusive approach have brought fundamental change in the area of sanitation of the South Asian nation. In 2015, open-defecation in the country reduced to just 1%. Besides, improved sanitation coverage stood at 61%, an increase of 28% since 2003.

Bangladesh

Pastoral scene in Bangladesh.

A nationwide survey carried out in 2003 to assess the sanitation facilities in Bangladesh revealed an alarmingly poor condition. The survey found that only 33% of the households had access to hygienic latrines, while 42% people did not use any type of latrine, defecated in the open. The prevalence of abysmal poverty among rural people was identified as the most important reason for not having latrine. The review disclosed that almost 20% of the households had been very poor.

In order to improve the sanitation facilities throughout the country, the Bangladesh government undertook a series of measures activating its agencies from the national to the grassroots level after 2003. The primary responsibility of the sanitation sector is entrusted with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives.

Read the complete article.

If These Kids From MP Find Someone Defecating In Open, There’s A Funny Way They Tackle It – WaterAid India

Published on Apr 5, 2016

An inspiring story of a group of children from Sehore in Madhya Pradesh who set off at the crack of dawn to prevent people from defecating in the open using a unique method. See how these young crusaders in the fight against open defecation are inspiring their communities to stop open defecation.

The SDGs at city level: Mumbai’s example

The SDGs at city level: Mumbai’s example, 2016. Authors: Paula Lucci and Alainna Lynch. Overseas Development Institute.

How countries manage urbanisation over the next 15 years will define governments’ ability to achieve most of the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Our analysis of performance over time (1998–2006) for three SDG targets in Mumbai (at city and slum settlement levels) suggests the target on access to water will be easier to achieve than the sanitation and housing targets.
  • However, data limitations at subnational level make it difficult to reach definite conclusions on trends over time, let alone to project performance through 2030 for
    these and other targets.
  • The SDGs provide an opportunity to set up-to-date credible baselines for cities and slums and to make historical data (where they exist) more accessible, for instance through user-friendly online portals. Having such data would highlight areas where progress needs to be accelerated or trends reversed, motivating city governments and campaigners to act.

Two Brilliant Solutions For Addressing India’s Huge Sanitation Crisis

My View: Two Brilliant Solutions For Addressing India’s Huge Sanitation Crisis | Source: The Better India, April 1 2016 |

India’s sanitation crisis is immense and not easily solved. Over 600 million people in rural and urban areas defecate in the open.  The nation cannot incessantly wait.  Two recently developed solutions may help.

The magnitude of India’s sanitation crisis may be summed up in one sentence: two-thirds of urban residents do not have toilets and access to the sewer grid, and over 600 million people in rural and urban areas defecate in the open. Where the grid does not serve toilets, faeces is periodically collected from unsustainable septic tanks and pit latrines to be discarded in open areas, landfill sites, lakes, and freshwater sources. The tragedy of our commons therefore multiplies manifold, as do health consequences.

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Bio toilets

Two Sustainable Solutions

The nation cannot incessantly wait. Two recently developed solutions may find mention here.

The first, the DRDO Bio-Digestion Toilet, a serendipitous innovation born from the need for sanitation for army personnel in the Himalayas, was not invented to address the civilian sanitation crisis.

Read the complete article.

In a Good Place What’s the solution to India’s sanitation crisis? It’s not just more toilets

In a Good Place What’s the solution to India’s sanitation crisis? It’s not just more toilets. Story by Ann Schraufnagel, Photography by Emily H. Johnson| Source: Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine, Spring 2016 |

“Don’t you know what a toilet is?”

features-in-a-good-place-field

Bihar’s field workers often toil miles from the nearest toilet.

The rusty auto-rickshaw flew over a pothole on the broken concrete road. Though I was hunched over in the backseat of the tiny, three-wheeled vehicle, my head slammed the ceiling. Eyes tearing, the sights around me blurred: Women in bold-colored saris working in the surrounding fields looked like smudges of blue and purple in an endless sea of bright, brilliant green. Dazed, I wondered whether I’d heard the translation correctly.

“I mean, don’t you know what a toilet is used for?” Laleshwor Kumar shouted at me over the roaring engine of the rickshaw. He looked taken aback.

With a fellowship from the Bloomberg School and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, I’d come to Bihar, India, in June 2015 to report on open defecation. Bihar is a hotbed for this practice: In rural Supaul, the district where I stayed, only 30 percent of homes have toilets. Despite years of effort to curb it, the practice of relieving oneself outside has persisted in India. Recent studies showed that many Indians have a stated preference for open defecation.

Yet here I was with Laleshwor, a janitor at a local bank, on a quest to build a toilet. On this unbearably hot, sticky summer day, we rode into town from his rural home and I had asked why. What set him apart, I wondered, and made him want a toilet in his home when, according to the research I’d conducted from an air-conditioned American cubicle, so many Indians
did not?

For the next four weeks, I set out to answer the vexing public health question central to India’s current sanitation crisis: Why would an individual choose to not use a toilet even when one is available?

Read the complete article.

 

Desperate To Pee? This App Will Help You Find The Nearest Toilet

Desperate To Pee? This App Will Help You Find The Nearest Toilet | Source: Huffington Post, March 9 2016 |

It’s easy to turn any corner and find a cab or a restaurant or a happening event waiting for you. But when you literally want to go ‘around the corner’, there’s usually no toilet to be found. Fortunately, a new app called Find x Toilet, created by developer Ishan Anand, helps you answer nature’s call by telling you the location of the nearest loo in Delhi.

The app uses the phone’s location services and GPS to find and show the nearest toilets and even offers ratings based on cleanliness and usability. It will also show you the shortest route to the toilet, pretty handy when you’re pressing both legs together. You can also rate the facilities and upload photos of them for the perusal of other discerning bathroom-goers. FIND-A-TOILET-large570

Launching the application in Delhi, Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung suggested that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) should make use of this app and keep the conditions of the toilets updated. App creator Anand said that this Find x Toilet was developed to complement the Swachh Bharat initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (hopefully fewer walls will be substituted for urinals). Anyone can download the Android app and contribute to the cause.

Read the complete article.