Yojana January 2020 Part 2 (Download PDF)

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Water Management: Building a Resilient Nation: ‘Women-led Water, Sanitation, Hygiene & Resilient practices Project’ or W-SHARP was implemented in 2018 to test effectiveness of risk-informed planning driven by local contexts & communities such as those of Marathwada, especially during lean periods, March to June, when water availability is at an all-time low. The pilot sought to enhance water, livelihood, & food security across 100 villages encompassing 10,000 families in two drought-prone blocks of Maharashtra. To build climate resilient practices within the most vulnerable groups, W-SHARP targeted women’s and vulnerable families’ participation as a core aspect of Project. Project took an innovative approach by positioning women as key change agents who charged forward in mobilising their communities, local bodies, & government institutions for shared causes. It ultimately provided an enabling environment for marginalised women to learn coping strategies for multitude of increasing uncertainties.

How W-SHARP Worked?

  • Fifty villages from each of two blocks were selected based on communities’ existing vulnerabilities & involvement of women in local governance.
  • Attention was also given to families w/adolescent girls or children below five years of age, to promote passing of livelihood & nutritional benefits from heads of households to their children. Overall, 10,000 households were included in project.
  • Project integrated question of sustainability & gender empowerment in all its various approaches. Women community leaders, ‘Arogya Sakhis’ (health friends), were selected & trained by UNICEF & implementation partner to promote hygiene, water security, and climate-resilient agricultural practices.
  • Through cascade training model, 100 Sakhis trained other women and by & of project, over 500 women were collaborating with school and anganwadi workers as well as village-level leaders to promote water governance & nutrition-sensitive farming.
  • W-SHARP to provide spaces for peer learning exchanges & dialogue fora. Trainings have been organised for community leaders to ensure that community uniformity & last-mile connectivity is achieved thru community tracking & monitoring systems of community behaviour changes through a 7-star tool & increased convergence w/service providers such as ASHAS & anganwadi workers. Effectiveness of these efforts increased awareness & implementation of water conservation practices and sustainable management.

Key Interventions

  • Household-level Engagement: Arogya Sakhis mobilised women’s groups in their villages to discuss information & practices relevant to good water mgmt practices at household level.
  • Water budgeting involves understanding a household’s overall water requirement based on number of family members, major areas of consumption, and identifying areas for potential reuse for water. It is a simple yet effective tool that allows households, to concretely appreciate utilisation of their resources. Water budgeting was practised by all targeted households;
  • All public water sources were included in sanitation surveillance plans;
  • 1,392 soak pits were constructed in total across all targeted villages to capture grey water for reuse;
  • 28 group hand washing stations were set up in various schools across two blocks.
  • Community-level Engagement: Communities were engaged in discussions on climate-resilient practices & options for livelihoods. This includes adaptive sustainable practices; conscious shift to bio fertilisers; improving soil health, biodiversity conservation, & water efficient technologies etc.
  • W-SHARP aimed to sustain “A gender responsive & resilient community w/food & water security in drought prone area. “
  • W-SHARP has proven that a small step is taken towards this goal, & these steps taken together lead to a healthier, stronger, & more resilient community.

Environment & Governance:

Story of Flourosis Mitigation in Rajasthan

  • over-exploitation of groundwater, which has increased due to recent climatic changes, along w/recurrent droughts have contributed to leaching of rocks w/fluoride compounds, thereby releasing volatile element into water sources, making it unsafe for drinking.
  • As of December 2019, of a total 7,752 fluoride-affected habitations across country, 3,748 of them (50%) are from Rajasthan. Drinking water with fluoride levels above WHO-prescribed limit of 1.5 ppm for prolonged period can lead to fluorosis, especially in children. Dental, skeletal, & non skeletal fluorosis, each w/rising severity in succession, are irreversible diseases that severely affect joint movements, cause incredible pain, & often lead to afflicted living in vegetative states.

Continued Challenges

  • Problem of fluorosis in Rajasthan is quite complex & continues to affect more & more people w/time. shifting of people from their earlier wisdom of traditional water sources to piped water supply although takes care of water security, question remains for source reliability, inability to monitor large-scale networks, & identification of safe reliable sources.
  • Improvement in drinking water supply in endemic village of Rajasthan has decreased burden of fluorosis, but low level of awareness & prevailing dietary & behavioural practices still expose them risk of high fluoride intake.

Present & Way Forward

  • In Rajasthan, UNICEF supported Govt. of Rajasthan in demonstration of Integrated Fluorosis Mitigation Approach pilot in Dungarpur in 2018, which is a people-centric district platform, led by District Magistrate to have focus on holistic fluorosis mitigation while leveraging programme funds across districts to support planned activities. This model puts District Magistrate in leadership position & leverages existing influence & responsibilities built into Magistrate’s position to prioritize fluorosis efforts within all relevant departments.
  • Investing in Retrofitting & Waste Mgmt.
  • Since launch of SBM-G in 2014, over 10 cr. Toilets have been built in rural areas; over 5.9 lakh villages, 699 districts. & 35 States & Union Territories have declared themselves ODF. ’ 10 Year Rural Sanitation Strategy (2019 - 29) aims to achieve vision of ODF-Plus, which focuses on sustaining behaviour change achieved under SBM-G, universal usage of sanitation facilities, inclusion of new households, as well as effective solid & liquid waste disposal.
  • Type of toilets constructed in entire sanitation programming in India is mainly of three categories: single leach pit, twin leach pit, & septic tanks.
  • As per Indian standard code for installation of septic tank. Unsatisfactory design, Construction, & maintenance of Septic tanks constitute health hazard.
  • At this junction of ODF plus initiatives, both single leach pit toilets & septic tanks would be challenging as far as faecal sludge & septage mgmt. (FSSM) IS concerned. Programmes w/special focus on toilet retrofitting and more of managing substructure of toilet units both at household and community level are needed. Proper septic tanks offer a preliminary treatment of sewage prior to final disposal which restricts damaging environment by protecting water sources & soil.

Formation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) & Provisioning Pipe Water Supply (PWS) to all Households:

Standardising Water Quality Testing & Monitoring:

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Environment: Yojana January 2020 - Kayakalp Scheme, W-SHARP

Environment: Yojana January 2020 - Kayakalp Scheme, W-SHARP

- Published/Last Modified on: February 7, 2020


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