National Rural Sanitation Strategy For 10 Years Launched

  • On 27thSeptember, 2019, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, launched the 10 Year Rural Sanitation Strategy (2019-2029),with focus on sustaining the sanitation behavior change that has been achieved under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G).

Objective

  • To guide policy makers, implementers and other relevant stakeholders in their planning for Open Defecation Free (ODF)
  • To ensure that every village has access to solid and liquid waste management.

Strategy and Focus Point

  • The 10 year strategy focuses on the following points:
    • Need for States/UTs to continue their efforts to sustain the gains of the mission through capacity strengthening
    • Spreading awareness through IEC (Information, education and communication)
    • Organic waste management
    • Plastic waste management
    • Greyand black water management
  • In addition it lays emphasis on potential collaborations with development partners, civil society and inter-government partnerships.
  • It also highlights innovative models for sanitation financing.

Swachh Bharat Mission(SBM)

  • It was launched on 2nd October, 2014, to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation.

Aim

  • The Mission aims to achieve a Swachh Bharat by2nd October, 2019, as a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

Objectives

  • To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.
  • To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2ndOctober 2019.
  • To motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through awareness creation and health education.
  • To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
  • To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems focusing on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.
  • To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities.

It has two Sub-Missions-

  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin): implemented by Ministry of Jal Shakti
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban): implemented by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Achievements

  • Since the launch of the SBM-G in 2014, over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural areas; over 5.9 lakh villages, 699 districts, and 35 States/UTs have declared themselves Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • As of July, 2019, over 2,900 cities in India have declared themselves ODF.
  • 50 lakh individual toilets have been built under SBM urban till now.

Significance

  • SBM has become a ‘Jan Andolan’ receiving tremendous support from the people. Citizens too have turned out in large numbers and pledged for a neat and cleaner India. Taking the broom to sweep the streets, cleaning up the garbage, focussing on sanitation and maintaining a hygienic environment have become a practice after the launch of the SBM.
  • People have started to take part and are helping spread the message of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’

Sustaining the Sanitation Behavior Change

Following steps will ensure sustainability of both the ODF practices and the ODF status of an area-

Involvement of Locals:

    • ODF success stories are incomplete without local participation. From digging of pits to participation in rallies to voluntarily cleaning public toilets in cities, local participation has been at the heart of ODF success stories.
    • In addition, rewarding of locals in ODF areas, especially those who have played active parts in the area becoming ODF can also aid in ODF sustainability.

Preparing a List of Dos and Don’ts:

    • A series of dos and don’ts in this context ensure that residents of an ODF area know what to do and what to avoid to keep the ODF status intact.
    • Local administrations or urban local bodies can come up with a series of dos and don’ts in consultation with sanitation experts, and promote them among residents.

Identification of Vulnerable Section:

    • Identification of people who are likely to violate ODF statuses and defecate in the open can help in the sustenance of an area’s ODF status. People who have been caught defecating openly in the past should be identified and explained about the ODF status of the area and be encouraged to use toilets.
    • Fines or penalties can also be implemented on violators to ensure that the sanctity of an ODF village is not broken.

Creating Awareness to Raise ODF Sustainability:

    • Be it panchayat meetings in villages or municipality meetings in cities, ODF sustainability and its significance must be constantly reiterated in such gatherings. Concerned authorities should discuss cases of open defecation in an ODF village/city regularly; take action to ensure that such incidents are not repeated and plans adopted by the village/city administration to keep the ODF status of the area intact.
    • If ODF sustainability of an area is raised as a topic with concerned authorities with as much vigour as construction of toilets, then monitoring of ODF sustainability can be improved significantly.

Establishing a Taskforce to Promote ODF Sustainability:

    • A team of individuals can be put together to work towards ODF sustainability. Officials, motivators, volunteers familiar with the geography of the ODF area are good choices for such a team, which can keep an eye on the activities being undertaken to sustain the ODF status of a village/city.
    • The taskforce can also meet from time to time and suggest steps to be taken on how to sustain the ODF status of a particular area, and discuss the problems and potential solutions regarding the same.

Way Forward

  • SBM is more than a toilet building exercise, it is an effort to change traditional habits and behaviours, as well as a much-needed drive to reduce ground and water pollution and improve community health.
  • It is this combination of technology solutions and out-of-the-box thinking that has been critical to SBM’s success in addressing the sanitation challenges faced by India.
  • Before the launch of SBM, over 500 million people in India did not have access to safe sanitation, and now, the majority do. There is still a long way to go, but the impacts of access to sanitation in India are already being realized. The SBM can serve as a model for other countries around the world that urgently need to improve access to sanitation for the world's poorest.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, September, 2019