Habitat Observatory

    Tirupati – Approaching Toward Becoming a Bin Free City

Solid Waste Management (SWM) was not a high priority for the municipal corporation of Tirupati city in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The city was divided into 7 divisions by the municipality. Vehicles were deployed by the municipal corporation for carrying the waste to the landfill. Segregation of waste was happening only at the commercial establishment level.

The municipality followed a curative approach instead of a preventive one. They remained engaged in firefighting on a daily basis causing immense pressure on the solid waste workers and managers. Deployment of human resources and infrastructure was mainly done on indicators such as ‘political exigencies’ or ‘number of complaints or area or population’. More than 50% of the total municipal solid waste workers were engaged in drain cleaning activities and the rest in street sweeping. Nobody was involved in door to door collection.

It was realised that there is a need to strengthen the solid waste collection system which will lead towards reducing the litter in the city considerably. A strategy was proposed by Paradigm Environmental Strategies Pvt. Ltd along with GIZ for dealing with this problem. The proposed strategy was to carry out an allocation based on real demand and it was decided that it should be proportional to ‘probability of being dirty’, ‘rate of generation of waste’ and ‘sensitivity to public health’. 

As per the proposed strategy, door to door collection has been initiated for two sanitary divisions (sanitary division 1 & sanitary division 5) and all the bins have been removed from those areas.

The cleaning staff of the municipality was asked to list the areas in sanitary division 1 & sanitary division 5 and rank them in complexity such as high, medium and low in terms of rate of waste generation and incidents of complaints. The idea was to start working with the areas where the complexity of the problem is higher.
The collection strategy was developed to maximise the use of existing working equipment and available manpower. The collection system has been planned on a two bin source segregation model. They introduced the concept of door to door collection of the waste with the help of tricycles, auto trippers and manual collection of waste and tipper truck. Mass awareness was created among the communities residing in those two divisions using flyers and various other mediums.

In rest of the sanitary blocks of the city, zone wise requirement of these bins was tabulated based on the waste generated in each division and the maximum distance to the nearest bin being 250mts. It has been calculated that only 105 bins are needed instead of 300 bins set aside for the same. Therefore the balance of 195 bins should be removed from all over the city. At least 75% (60 bins) of the bins were cleared daily while the balance 25% (50 bins) may be cleared on alternate days.

The sanitary blocks where the pilot was conducted are totally bin free presently and the littering of the waste has reduced considerably. The whole credit goes to the community people who worked towards making these areas totally bin free and clean.

As the pilot was successful in two divisions, there are discussions of taking this forward to other sanitary blocks to manage the waste of the city more efficiently.

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    SWASHTHA: A foundation for Healthier Life

Water and sanitation related diseases and indoor air pollution (IAP) are amongst the top killers in Nepal attributing to more than 10 per cent of deaths annually. About 10 billion Nepalese rupees (US$11.62 million) are lost annually because of poor hygiene and there is another estimate of the same amount that is lost annually due to indoor air pollution.

Seeing the situation, SWASHTHA (Strengthening Water, Air, Sanitation and Hygiene Treasuring Health) project was launched in 21 communities of Bharatpur, Butwal, Gulariya and Tikapur municipalities. Objective of the project was to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities especially women and children. The project was implemented from 2009-2012 with the help of Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN), Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO) and Practical Action Nepal Office as Non State Actors (NSA) and respective municipalities and Village Development Committees as State Actors.

An integrated approach was followed in the SWASHTHA project. The interventions were designed for safe water, better sanitation, hygiene, kitchen management and waste management.

Under safe water, low cost household water treatment options such as boiling, chlorination, filtration and SODIS (solar disinfection) methods were promoted in the project communities. Concrete platforms were constructed to aid ground water source protection. For better sanitation, the project promoted low cost toilets as per the choice of households including single pit pour flush, wet ECOSAN, dry ECOSAN and bio gas attached toilets. To improve the hygiene, local change agents such as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs), teachers and students were trained and mobilised to raise awareness of safe hygiene practices. In kitchen management, interventions focused on reducing indoor air pollution by promoting improved cooked stoves (ICS), ventilation improvement, biogas and kitchen space management. Under Waste Management, 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) principles were promoted.  Household and community composting were some of the major interventions under this component.

As a result of all these interventions, two communities have been declared as being safe water communities. The project with the support of local stakeholders was able to declare open defecation free (ODF) areas in 14 project communities out of 21. Open defecation reduced significantly in other remaining communities as well. People have expressed that their hygiene awareness has increased and they have adopted safe hygiene practices. More than 300 Female Community Health Volunteers have been trained and are mobilised in the project communities. The pollution level of indoor air in households involved in the project has reduced significantly. Similarly, awareness of waste management has also increased.

There are visible positive changes in the health of people of the project communities such as reduction in diarrhoeal and smoke related diseases. It can now be concluded that promoting these five components definitely helps in creating healthy homes and with these healthy homes, healthy communities develop.

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