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Habitat Observatory

    Promoting Sanitation through Decentralized Governance
  RajukhediPanchayat of Sehore district, Madhya Pradesh has emerged as a role model for rural sanitation for the Gram Panchayats. The rural community is entirely free of open defecation; high use of toilet facilities and positive health behavior are now common. The Panchayat has addressed environmental sanitation through an improved drainage system and rainwater harvesting.

Before 2005, there were only 10 toilets constructed for the 99 households of the village. Only three toilets were used partially. The remaining was used as stores and makeshift sheds for their cattle. The Gram Sabha and the Sarpanch were concerned about the health condition of the community and realized that most of the common illnesses in the Panchayat were related to water and sanitation. The Panchayat took a lead and started the construction of toilets to improve the health of the villagers.

Water Aid, facilitated an agreement with a local NGO, Samarthan, to work in RajukhediPanchayat. It equipped the Panchayat with additional knowledge on sanitation issues and technical support, and also provided the incentive of partially offsetting the cost of toilet constructions for individual households. However instead of constructing a demonstration toilet, as required under the Water Aid Project, the Panchayat insisted that the money be used to repair the unusable toilets and as a part-contribution to be given to the first people who come forward to undertake construction of toilets.

About 16 toilets were repaired under the Water Aid grant. The Sarpanch of the Panchayat initiated the sanitation campaign in the village in realizing that household sanitation is crucial to good health. He went door to door to talk to the community in order to make them understand the advantages of household toilets. Several Gram Sabha meetings were organized to work out the strategy for a healthy and clean village.

In the Panchayat meeting the implementation strategy was decided and thereby ensured effective implementation of the Total Sanitation Campaign in the village. 37 BPL families were identified and given access to the subsidies available under the TSC.

Improvements were made in RajukhediPanchayat by installing piped water supply with two water tanks with a capacity of 10,000 litres and 5,000 litres each. Household connections were provided for a monthly payment of Rs.30. Alternatively, they could opt for a community connection at Rs. 20 per month. The Sarpanch himself participates in all the “Shram Dan” and motivates the community to do the same. Gram Sabha designed a strict monitoring system with the help of the youth and school children wherein families who defecate in the open would be fined.

Kamal Singh Mewara, a 50 year old man with a family of five, says not one doctor has shown up in the village in the last year. Even four unqualified jhola chap (local quack doctors) who usually frequented the villages from March till September had not visited even once. Before the construction of toilets in 2005, each family spent an average of Rs.250 - Rs.500 per month on medical expenses, depending on the size of the family and the type of illness. Today it is not just money; even the quality of life has substantially improved. Women have more time to themselves and their families. There are fewer mosquitoes, and a lower incidence of malaria. The community observed that the substantial reduction in the number of mosquitoes meant reduction in physical irritability and improved quality of sleep. Convergence of sanitation with other programmes has brought better health, education, income and quality of life in RajukhediPanchayat.

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    Integrated Slum Development – For a Better Tomorrow
  The Integrated Slum Development (ISD) Programmeconceptualised by SAATH (a non-governmental organisation) providesinfrastructure and basic services in slums through the creation of public-private partnerships. It takes a participatory approach by involving the community in contributing towards the cost of the programme as well as its implementation. This programme undertaken in 41 slum communities covering 8703 households has benefitted more than 43,500 people in the state of Gujarat.

The strategy of the programme is based on providing slum dwellers with comprehensive solutions for addressing all development needs of health, education, economic enhancement and infrastructure up gradation. All these are delivered to slum dwellers through a market based approach under which slum dwellers have to pay for the package of services provided to them at the household level.

The approach of the Integrated Slum Development (ISD) Programme is to train the local youth to assess the basic infrastructural needs of their community. These youth then empower the slum residents to form community based associations. Youth groups inform people about various existing schemes and how people can avail these to access basic infrastructure facilities.

Through the multi-stakeholder partnerships created in the programme with the municipality and the private sector, SAATH provides each household with a package of basic infrastructure facilities. Investment cost is shared between slum residents (1/3 of the amount) and the municipality. In return, the municipality gives them a 10 years non eviction guarantee. SAATH deals with the payment collection and ensures that the infrastructure work is correctly designed and delivered.

Other than doing infrastructure development, the programme also works towards economic development and job creation by providing vocational training to the community members and boosting income generating activities.

Replicated across different cities in the Gujarat state, this Integrated Slum Development (ISD) Programme is bringing change in the life of the slum dwellers by improving their quality of life, income and job opportunities.

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