Tag Archives: India

India, Bihar: if you want to be elected, get a toilet first

First we had “no toilet, no bride“, now you need a toilet to be elected in India. At least that’s  what chief minister Nitish Kumar is proposing for his state Bihar. He made the announcement on World Toilet Day, 19 November.

Candidates who don’t have a toilet in their home will not be allowed to contest rural (panchayat) and urban local body elections in the state.  The chief minister said he would ensure that relevant legislation (Bihar Panchayati Raj Act) would be amended to make this possible.

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An ideal sanitation solution

An ideal sanitation solution | Source: The Hindu-Sept 27 2013 |

In TPPF you revisit a technology developed and fine-tuned in India decades ago and which still continues to be relevant for the sanitation sector, feels  -
S. Vishwanath ideal_sanitation

Of all the countries grappling with a sanitation problem India tops the list. The number of households without access to a toilet and defecating in the open is nearly a staggering 50 per cent of the total households in India, according to the census of 2011. Even where there is a toilet many simply discharge into the open drains and do not ensure safe disposal. Another recent study establishes a distinct link between open defecation and stunting of growth in children, having far reaching implications for a young population.

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India, urban sanitation, and the toilet challenge

India, urban sanitation, and the toilet challenge, 2013.

Elledge, M.F., McClatchey, M. RTI International. rti

This research brief builds upon a literature review and stakeholder interviews in India on urban sanitation to examine the public policy landscape for sanitation innovation in the country. India ranks low in terms of sanitation coverage; the country experiences very high rates of open defecation and significant use of unimproved toilets. The majority of fecal sludge goes untreated into waterways in urban areas. India’s demographic trends show rapid urban growth, both geographically and in terms of population, which is also expanding the gap in access to improved sanitation in urban areas. Adequate government funding and policy implementation is lacking.

The past focus on centralized sewerage systems and simple on-site sanitation is not an acceptable default option, nor is it technically feasible or financially viable given growth patterns. Groundbreaking new technology, management, and operational models are required to solve the sanitation challenge at scale. Recent attention from the donor community, the private sector, and others brings focus to using innovation to solve the sanitation challenge. This review highlights that urban sanitation is under-researched. More work is required to spur funding, inform technology development, and support the policy-enabling environment for bringing in new approaches to improved urban sanitation.

No Menstrual Hygiene For Indian Women Holds Economy Back

No Menstrual Hygiene For Indian Women Holds Economy Back | Source: Natasha Khan & Ketaki Gokhale, Bloomberg – Jul 24, 2013

Sushma Devi, a mother of three in Northern India, stores her “moon cup” on the window sill of the mud-brick veranda that shelters the family goats.

In a village where few have indoor toilets and the Hindi word for her genitals is a profanity, 30-year-old Sushma struggles to talk about how she manages her period and the changes brought by the bell-shaped device she inserts in her vagina to collect menstrual blood.

“It’s a thing from hell,” she says of the malleable, silicone cup, which she received from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research group. “I have to keep it far from the house, from where I pray.”

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), with technical assistance from North Carolina State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has designed the SHE LaunchPad, a menstrual pad that utilizes patent-pending technology to transform agro-waste, in this case, banana fibers, into highly absorbent material without the use of chemicals. Photographer: Elizabeth Scharpf/SHE via Bloomberg

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), with technical assistance from North Carolina State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has designed the SHE LaunchPad, a menstrual pad that utilizes patent-pending technology to transform agro-waste, in this case, banana fibers, into highly absorbent material without the use of chemicals. Photographer: Elizabeth Scharpf/SHE via Bloomberg

Across the world’s largest democracy, where a decade of economic growth nearing 8 percent a year has tripled per-capita income, millions of women are held back by shame around their most basic sanitary needs.

Teenage girls and young women are encouraged to go to school and enter the workforce, yet have little access to the infrastructure and products — separate bathrooms, sanitary pads — that will help them succeed. Taboos around sexual health reflect a level of discomfort with the female body that affects women’s contribution to the economy and marks India as the third-worst nation in Asia for gender inequality.

“When our periods start, it becomes much harder,” explains Sushma, who wears a faded floral-patterned sari with silver toe rings and colorful glass bangles jangling on her arms. She was 15 years old when her mother showed her how to use fabric torn from discarded saris to handle her monthly period.

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Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s

Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s |Source: Prime Sarmiento, SciDev Net, Aug 7, 2013|

Toxic waste is an under-recognised major global health burden comparable to outdoor air pollution and malaria, according to a study.

The paper says that people’s exposure to industrial pollutants such as lead, asbestos and chromium from toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010 resulted in the loss of 829,000 years of good health due to serious diseases or early death.

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Such a health burden, the researchers say, is comparable to that caused by outdoor air pollution and malaria — both serious problems in developing countries in Asia. The WHO estimates that people living in India, Indonesia and the Philippines lose a total 1.45 million healthy years per year because of outdoor air pollution and 725,000 healthy years due to malaria.

The researchers sampled 373 sites in the three countries. They found that these sites endanger more than eight million people as their daily exposure to industrial pollutants puts them at risk of developing heart disease, cancer and anaemia. The toxic wastes mainly come from tanneries, mining firms and battery recycling plants.

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Community-driven sanitation improvement in deprived urban neighbourhoods

Community-driven sanitation improvement in deprived urban neighbourhoods: Meeting the challenges of local collective action, co-production, affordability and a trans-sectoral approach, 2013.

Gordon McGranahan.

There is an international consensus that urban sanitary conditions are in great need of improvement, but sharp disagreement over how this improvement should be pursued. Both market-driven and state-led efforts to improve sanitation in deprived communities tend to be severely compromised, as there is a lack of effective market demand (due to collective action problems) and severe barriers to the centralized provision of low-cost sanitation facilities. In principle, community-driven initiatives have a number of advantages.

But community-driven sanitary improvement also faces serious challenges, including:
1) The collective action challenge of getting local residents to coordinate and combine their demands for sanitary improvement;
2) The co-production challenge of getting the state to accept community-driven approaches to sanitary improvement, and where necessary to coinvest and take responsibility for the final waste disposal;
3) The affordability challenge of finding improvements that are affordable and acceptable to both the state and the community – and to other funders if relevant;
4) The trans-sectoral challenge of ensuring that other poverty-related problems, such as insecure tenure, do not undermine efforts to improve sanitation.

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Evaluating the potential of microfinance for sanitation in India

Evaluating the potential of microfinance for sanitation in India, 2013.

Sophie Trémolet, T V S Ravi Kumar. SHARE. india-microfinance

This case study investigates how household financing for sanitation can be mobilised via microfinance institutions and commercial banks in order to accelerate sustainable access to sanitation facilities and/or services. The research (conducted in India between May and June 2011) sought to document existing experiences in providing microfinance services to households to allow them to invest in sanitation solutions that meet their needs. The objective of the research was to map out the existing provision of microfinance for sanitation, identify where opportunities for future market development lie and identify how the development of such a market could be fostered (through the targeted use of public funds or regulatory changes for example).

This research has identified that there is potentially high demand for sanitation microfinance in India, due to a combination of factors. Coverage rates remain low (particularly in rural areas) and national policies emphasise household investments (combined with subsidies in some cases, such as in the Total Sanitation Campaign which provide ex-post subsidies once the household has made the investment, hence the need for pre-financing). By 2010, only 31% of India’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities (WHO/UNICEF, 2010).

India, Bihar: rapes ’caused by lack of toilets’

Map showing  frequency & severity of violence against  women in Bhalswa slum, Delhi. Shirley Lennon/SHARE.

Map showing frequency & severity of violence against
women in Bhalswa slum, Delhi. Shirley Lennon/SHARE.

The lack of safe toilets for women and girls is often linked to an increased risk of sexual harassment and rape. Earlier studies [1] from Kenya, Uganda and India, and now a recent BBC news item are some of the few sources to actually quantify this risk.

Senior police official Arvind Pandey from the Indian state of Bihar told the BBC that 400 women would have “escaped” rape in 2012 if they had toilets in their homes. The rapes take place when women go outside to defecate early in the morning and late evening. These “sanitation-related” rapes make up nearly half of the more than 870 cases of rape in Bihar in 2012.

The BBC news item lists three specific cases:

  • On 5 May, an 11-year-old girl was raped in Mai village in Jehanabad district when she was going to the field at night
  • On 28 April, a young girl was abducted and raped when she had gone out to defecate in an open field in Kalapur village in Naubatpur, 35km (21 miles) from the state capital, Patna
  • On 24 April, another girl was raped in similar circumstances on a farm in Chaunniya village in Sheikhpura district. She told the police that two villagers had followed and raped her. One of them has been arrested

In Bihar , 75.8% of homes have no toilet facilities (Census 2011). Some 49% of the households without a toilet wanted one for “safety and security” for women and children, according to a study by Population Service International (PSI),   Monitor Deloitte and Water for People.

[1] Heise, L., 2013. Danger, disgust and indignity : women’s perception of sanitation in informal settlements. Powerpoint presented at “Making connections: Women, sanitation and health”, 29 April 2013, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Video version available at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS9ulpJqh7s

Related news:

  • Request for Proposals: The effects of poor sanitation on women and girls in India, Sanitation Updates, 07 Mar 2013
  • India, Delhi: how sexual violence against women is linked to water and sanitation, E-Source, 27 Mar 2012

Source: Amarnath Tewary, BBC, 09 May 2013

 

India, New Delhi: garbage trucks to be fitted with GPS and radio devices

Big brother will soon be watching over garbage truck drivers in East Delhi once the local municipal corporation installs an electronic tracking system. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) plans to install global positioning system (GPS) and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) in its garbage trucks.

This will enable the EDMC to track the garbage trucks movements and monitor their work performance.

The electronic devices are linked to an  ‘e-municipal solid waste disposal system’, which takes pictures of the vehicles at the garbage station and landfill site, when they pick up and dispose of the waste.

At the end of each day, the GPS will be used to submit a daily route mapping report on the areas cleaned.

East Delhi generates nearly 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage every day and has nearly 150 dump yards.

M/s AKS Software Ltd won the tender to install the electronic tracking system, which costs 19.2 million Rupees (US$ 353,000).

Related news: India, New Delhi: using Facebook and SMS to keep the city clean, Sanitation Updates, 15 Apr 2011

Source: Hindustan Times, 28 Mar 2013 ; PTI/Business Standard, 28 Mar 2013

 

BRAC WASH offers to help half a million Indian imams promote hygiene

On WaterCouch.tv, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp shares a practical example of international water cooperation that emerged during the 2013 World Water Day celebrations in The Hague, The Netherlands. In one of the sessions, BRAC WASH programme director Dr Babar Kabir explained that his programme had trained 18,000 imams in Bangladesh to include hygiene messages in their Friday prayers (see Kabir, 2010).

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi

Also present in The Hague was Iman Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All India Organization of Imams of Mosques, “the largest and oldest imam organization of the world”.  Dr Kabir and the Chief Imam “agreed to cooperate on education for water and sanitation”. This cooperation has the potential to create “five hundred thousand new teachers” to spread hygiene messages all over India.

Kabir, B. et al., 2010. The role of imams and different institution[s] in hygiene promotion of BRAC WASH programme : paper presented at the South Asia Hygiene Practitioners Workshop, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1 to 4 February 2010.  The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. Available at: www.irc.nl/page/51613

WASH training for imams in Bangladesh. Photo: Masjid Council