Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Setting Precedents in smaller towns of Maharashtra -- Maria Lobo

The Alliance has been working on sanitation since its involvement with the Mahila Milan and Federation. Though most of the work in sanitation be it providing community toilets or individual toilets; has been done in Mumbai, Pune, Vizag efforts are being made to increase and improve sanitation facilities in smaller towns and cities of Maharashtra.

In 2013, SPARC conducted a survey of 150 community toilets constructed since 2000 under Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Projects launched in 1995 by the World Bank and the Mumbai Corporation of Greater Mumbai. The survey form covered sections on  Settlement information, Physical assessment of the toilets, CBO information, Structural issues, Health and hygiene, the idea of this was to come out with interventions post survey some of which can be taken up jointly by the NGO and the city, few that can solely the responsibility of either the CBO or the concerned ward.

Also in 2013, a citywide settlement profile was conducted in cities of Maharashtra where the Federation is active. Laying stress on sanitation, the analysis of these were that though on one hand there is acute shortage of community sanitation facilities on the other hand the existing sanitation facilities are overlooked and are just left abandoned in absence of no one taking the charge of maintaining those facilities. Having utilities like community toilet blocks in slums and not maintaining the same is also one of the main reasons for increasing open defecation.

In order to replicate and set precedents of initiatives being taken in Mumbai, in a meeting held in August 2014 with six cities of Maharashtra (Bhadgaon, Jalgaon, Ahmed Nagar, Pimpri, Nashik and Malegaon), the cities decided to do a similar survey of toilets constructed by the city municipality in slums. This survey will be undertaken in slums where the Federation and MM have an active presence. To start off with, two types of interventions will be done
1. one toilet in each city will be either reconstructed or repaired or newly constructed as a demonstration to the city
2. The analysis from the survey will be presented to all the municipalities to begin a discussion on who does what and how it can further extended at a citywide level.


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