Tag Archives: open defecation-free villages

India sanitation initiative wins prestigious UN prize

Training women in Nadia District, Sabar Shouchagar programme

Training women in Nadia District,. Photo credit: Sabar Shouchagar programme

The UN has awarded one of their prestigious 2015 Public Service Awards to Nadia district in West Bengal for their sanitation initiative Sabar Shouchagar (Toilets for All).

Bordering on Bangladesh,  the rural district has a population of 5.4 million of whom nearly 2 million or 40% practised open defecation in 2013.  This was in sharp contrast with neighbouring Bangladesh, where only 4% of the people practise open defecation. This realisation sparked the district to start pooling available government resources and develop the Sabar Shouchar concept.

Besides pooling government funds, the concept involved mass awareness campaigns, parternships with NGOs, focus on women and children as change agents, rural sanitation marts, transforming district administration and a 10% mandatory user contribution to cost of toilet construction.

All this resulted in Nadia becoming the first Indian district to be declared open defecation free on 30 April 2015.

2015 UNPSA Banner10

Nadia district will receive its award from the United Nations Secretary-General on 23 June 2015 in Medellin, Colombia.

For more information go to: sabarshouchagar.in

Source: Indian Express, 8 May 2015

Creative measures improve sanitation programmes in eight African countries

Sapling handwashing, Malawi.

Sapling handwashing, Malawi. Photo: Plan Malawi

Eight African countries are creatively achieving the goals of community led total sanitation programmes (CLTS) including one idea in Malawi where handwashing is monitored according to the health of tree seedlings planted beneath water outlets.

In Zambia several schools have established vegetable gardens to reduce malnutrition and improve school attendance. Some of the harvests have been sold raising funds for school activities.

In Sierra Leone men have traditionally been the community leaders but women are now being encouraged to play a major part in village committees and networks of natural leaders.  To support CLTS women conduct house-to-house monitoring, giving health talks and reporting diseases –- many of them overcoming challenges such as illiteracy to maintain the programme.

Plan International’s five year Pan African CLTS (PAC) programme which ends in December, 2014, is operating in the eight countries of Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi, Ghana and Niger. With the backing of the Dutch government the project was designed to promote and scale up sanitation in communities and schools.

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Kiribati’s North Tarawa declared first open defecation free island in the Pacific

Everyone on North Tarawa now has access to improved sanitation. Photo: ABC Radio Australia / UNICEF Pacific.

North Tarawa in Kiribati is the first island in the Pacific to be declared open defecation free, thanks to the “Kiriwatsan I Project”. The Ministry of Public Works is implementing this project with technical support from UNICEF and funding from the European Union.

North Tarawa is made up of a string of islets with a combined population of 6,102 (2010) and a land area of 15.26 sq.km.  Previously about 64 per cent of people used the beaches and mangroves for defecation and dumping their rubbish.

UNICEF spokeswoman Nuzhat Shahzadi says that diarrhoeal diseases cause 15 per cent of the deaths of children under five in Kiribati.

In March 2013, North Tarawa adopted the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach following a training of trainers course conducted by Dr Kamal Kar. The CLTS pioneer wrote that he had convinced Kiribati President Anote Tong to set December 2015 as the target date for the whole nation to become open defecation free.

The villagers of North Tarawa dig shallow pits and use local materials like brick and coconut leaves to build the toilet superstructure. They keep water and soap in one corner. After using the toilet, the villagers sprinkle ash to stop the smell and flies getting in, and then keep it covered.

Ms Shahzadi said that the women and girls were very happy that no longer have to go out on the beach in the middle of the night if they need to use the toilet.

Source: UNICEF, 11 May 2013 ; Radio New Zealand International, 13 May 2013 ; ABC Radio Australia, 14 May 2013

Learning from ODF Communities in East Java

Participatory research conducted in 80 communities in East Java shows that communities achieving ODF status within two months of CLTS triggering are more likely to achieve higher access gains and remain ODF longer than communities that take many months to achieve ODF status. Continue reading

Nepal, Mid-Western Region: sanitation card system introduced

Villagers in Salkot, western Surkhet, have to produce a “sanitation card” when applying for services from the Village Development Committee (VDC).

The “sanitation card” system was introduced in Salkot in mid April 2011 when it was declared an open defecation free zone.

The card contains information on whether the house of the card holder has a toilet and has pledged to no longer practice open defecation.

According to VDC Secretary Tilak Ram Adhikari red cards are issued to households which do not not concrete toilets and white cards to those which do have them.

The VDC office claimed that the out of total 1,553 households of the VDC, 1,117 households have been using toilets.

Source: The Rising Nepal, 18 Jul 2011

In Nepal, Shame Tactics Boost Bathroom Usage

While Pakistan is struggling with devastating flood waters, neighboring Nepal is fighting a water problem of its own: Contamination by human feces. Open defecation is so widespread in Nepal that health groups are making it a priority to change how and where people relieve themselves.

But when you have to go, you have to go. And for many people in Nepal, that often means outdoors.

“They feel that to do the open defecation in the open space or in the open air, they feel it is very much comfortable for them in the rural parts of the country,” said Roshah Raj Shrestha, who works with the U.N. Habitat in Kathmandu.

Nearly 60 percent of people in Nepal do not have toilets at home, according to Shresta. That means about 16 million people are defecating in the open.

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Nepal: Naming and shaming open defecation offenders

SIDDHIPUR, 23 August 2010 (IRIN) – In the fight against disease and child mortality, Nepal has been using some unusual tactics to get people to stop defecating in the open.

Children blow whistles at offenders and post name-and-shame flags in fresh, stinking piles; NGOs help communities turn their waste into “humanure” for crops; and one women’s group “calculated” how much waste tainted the food supply.

“We told the community, `If we don’t make proper toilets, it’s like we’re all eating our faeces,’” said Saraswati Maharjam, a member of the sanitation and hygiene education team in Siddhipur village on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Saraswati Maharjam

“In one year, we’re eating 2kg of faeces, and this is if you live far from the public toilet. If you’re near the public toilet, it’s even more,” Maharjam said, referring to the rough estimate her women’s group came up with to scare neighbours into building toilets.

Open defecation is a major problem in Nepal. According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), only about 46 percent of Nepalese have latrines in their homes – and in the least developed districts in the west, that figure drops to 25 percent.

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