Discussions were held to address village water and sanitation needs
GN Bureau | August 24, 2016
Scaling up village water safety and security (VWSS) can help improve access to quality drinking water and condition of household toilets. It can also help face floods and drought situations, NGO said during conference organised by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation and Plan India on Wednesday.
Over the years, efforts made through central schemes such as the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and the Swachh Bharat Mission has led to an increase in coverage and improvement in village water and sanitation needs. However, sustainability of drinking water sources, ensuring effective operation and maintenance of systems, deteriorating water quality issues and need for adoption of sustained sanitation practices remain key challenges.
Under the VWSS programme, a village plans for improving its sanitation as well as ensuring water availability. Developed by Plan India in collaboration with the ministry of drinking water and sanitation in August 2013, the program involves an integrated approach using a larger social mobilisation process, community development, capacity building and technology to create awareness and bring about change in prevailing practices at the household and community level to help sustain availability, effective use and proper maintenance of water supply and sanitation facilities.
The pilot projects in Jharkhand have yielded good results. Under this, 2500 families have submitted proposals for toilet construction, 578 families have already received Rs 53 lakhs under SBM and 237 families have got the toilets in their homes. Water supply projects have been sanctioned in four villages and 19 new hand pumps have been installed in the proposed 35 locations.
In Bihar, ‘Promoting Sustainable Sanitation in Rural India’ is being implemented in Gopalganj and Bethia districts since October 2013. At least 30 villages have been declared as Open Defecation Free (ODF) and many villages are in the process reaching the ODF target.
Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director, Plan India, said “Plan India’s water and sanitation programme intervention adopts a child centred community development approach. We are complimenting the efforts of the government in taking forward the Swachh Bharat Mission. Our effort is also to strengthen communities in our intervention areas and to develop appropriate operation and maintenance schemes.”
At present, VWSS is piloted in 110 villages of Maharashrta.
Meanwhile, the water supply situation in rural India is dismal. As per the standards, a person must get at least 40 litres of clean safe water per day. However out of total 16,93,531 rural habitations, only 12,50,798 habitations (73.73 %) get the standard supply. Another 3, 67,225 habitations (21.6 %) are only partially covered and 78,505 habitations (4.6%) get poor quality water which is affected by fluoride/arsenic/iron/salinity/nitrate.
During the conference, key sector players/practitioners came together to share success stories and approaches in promoting secured and safe water supply in the country and to overcome key challenges.
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