The project aims to establish protected piped water supply to 103 rural households benefiting 704 people in Kundiguda village, at the Dhenkanal district in the state of Odisha.
Odisha has the dubious distinction of being one of the poorest states in India as 40% of its populations live below poverty line standards. 86% of the population, according to national census, lives in rural villages and access to piped water supply is limited to just 1% of the rural households. The incidence of waterborne diseases has been alarmingly high due to consumption of contaminated water and it pushed the rural communities to remain in the state of vicious circle of poverty.
The operational areas of Gram Vikas have a large tribal population and are physically remote with very poor basic services and facilities, rendering them as districts that have low human development indicators.
The communities depend primarily on agriculture and daily wage labour for subsistence. The vicious cycle of poverty and morbidity work together to keep communities in these areas in a perpetual debt cycle, forcing them to lead sub- human lives devoid of dignity, self-respect, and the capacity to demand and negotiate with external forces for their rightful entitlement.
In this context, the water and sanitation project is an entry point and through the process of 100% inclusion, the aim is to harness the inherent collective potential of poor communities to help them to determine the course of their development.
LocationKundiguda village, Dhenkanal, Odhisa, India
Primary Focus: Drinking Water - Community
Secondary Focus: Capacity Building
People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 704
(Data source: Gram Vikas household surveys)
School Children Getting Water: 104
(Data source: Gram Vikas household surveys)
People Getting Sanitation: 704
(Data source: Gram Vikas household surveys)
People Getting Other Benefits:
Application Type: Project Funding
Start Date: 2012-04-01
Completion Date: 2012-12-31
Gram Vikas believes that achieving long-lasting, sustainable change in the community requires more than simply building water and sanitation infrastructure. Thus the MANTRA project also supports the creation of self-governing democratic institutions, which are inclusive of all regardless of caste, social status or gender. 100% inclusion is the most difficult part of the programme.
The scope of this project is for the deployment of a water and sanitation solution for 103 families in Kundriguda village in rural Odisha. This encompasses 704 individuals.
The following steps describe the MANTRA approach
1. The first step of the project is to achieve 100% consensus in the village. This requires all heads of households, male and female, to agree to come together to collectively address the village's water and sanitation problem. This step is all the more critical that social pressure is required in order to end the practice of open defecation, thus eliminating the source of water-borne diseases. Once the villagers come together, a series of community meetings take place to motivate people, and to help them understand the need for inclusive water and sanitation, and to establish the roles and responsibilities required of them by the project.
2. Gram Vikas works to build the confidence and skills of the community's women, helping them set up Self-Help Groups, and linking them to financial institutions. This creates a ripple effect that impacts the social and economic fabric of the community.
3. A Village Executive Committee (VEC) is set up in order to implement and manage the use of water and sanitation facilities. The VEC requires equal representation of men and women, and proportionate representation of marginalised communities (such as Scheduled Castes.) Gram Vikas plays the role of facilitator, building the capacity of the villagers to run the programme and manage their own institutions. The VEC is officially registered.
4. A village corpus fund is created, with a one-time average contribution of Rs. 1000 (approx. $20) per household deposited into an account. Better-off families typically pay more, and adjusted installment rates can be negotiated to ensure equity. Interest from the corpus fund is used exclusively for the construction of facilities for new households, thus ensuring 100% coverage in the future as well.
5. In preparation for the construction of toilets, community members have to provide money, labor and time to provide all locally-available materials, such as bricks. Gram Vikas provides a subsidy towards the purchase of materials from outside, but the community has to contribute the rest of the money. Gram Vikas provides masonry training, thus also enhancing the livelihood options of the villagers beyond the duration of the project.
6. Sanitary toilet and bathing room blocks are built for each household in the village. Next, the water supply system is established, by building a water source, an elevated water reservoir, and a distribution network. Wherever possible, to reduce dependency on outside power sources, Gram Vikas employs an innovative approach to water supply called “Induced Gravity Flow”. This approach, developed by Gram Vikas, builds on traditional gravity flow techniques, but allows access to water at greater depths without the need of water pumps. Each household is provided with a 24-hour water supply and 3 taps: one in the toilet room, one in the bathing room, and one in or just outside the kitchen.
7. The community next establishes a maintenance fund, in order to cover ongoing costs. Community members also come together to generate income through such activities as fish farming in village ponds which were previously used for bathing, social forestry, and community horticulture. The experience of working as a community, making decisions together and mobilising resources creates a legacy of confidence and skills for the entire community.
8. Intensive capacity building and skill training take place for all stakeholders, in order to address the technical part of the project, as well as bring about democratic leadership, behavioural change, and institutional management skills in the communities.
When the facilities are in place, and the community possesses the right skills and governing institutions to ensure the maintenance of the system beyond the end of the project, Gram Vikas withdraws from the village, and monitors the village's situation.
A bore well is used as the source of water. An electric water pump is used to collected and stored water in an elevated water reservoir.
The project will be finished in one phase.
Gram Vikas has designed a sustainable model for community organization and development named MANTRA (Movement and Action Network for the Transformation of Rural Areas), based on five core values:
1) 100% inclusion
2) Gender equity
3) social equity
5) cost sharing
Water and sanitation activities have been taken up as entry point activity for initiating all round development of villages.
100% inclusion of all families is a pre-condition for initiating the WATSAN work in a village. This is crucial from a total sanitation point of view, as even if one family continues to practice open defecation, water sources will continue to be polluted. 100% inclusion is also a step towards addressing exclusionary practices prevailing in society –mainly towards Dalits, indigenous communities and women.
Other core values include cost sharing, and gender and social equity. Gram Vikas does not believe in the common attitude of “poor people only need poor solutions.” Gram Vikas motivates and enables communities to overcome deep rooted divisions along lines of caste and gender to come together and achieve high quality solutions, resulting in every household having a toilet, and bathing room, with three taps supplying piped, potable water. Gram Vikas believes that the poor can and will pay for truly beneficial development solutions, however the larger community also has a role in meeting the social cost for families, especially in areas where the government makes no or measly investment in water and sanitation infrastructure.
Before the programme begins in any village, the village must come to a consensus that all families, without exception, will participate. This brings the community together across barriers of caste, gender and economic status, which for centuries have excluded large sections of communities from the process of development. The village must also raise a corpus fund of Rs.1,000 ($20) per household with the better-off paying more and the poorer less. The corpus fund is an acid test, demonstrating that the community is committed to the process of development. Interest from the corpus fund is used to meet the social costs of extending the water and sanitation system to new households in the future, ensuring 100% coverage at all times.
The community drives the implementation of the programme. The community makes the bricks and collects all the local materials available and rural youth trained in masonry build the overhead water tank and lay the network of pipes. 1-2 rural youth are trained as pump operators and are taught how to make any necessary repairs to the system.
The management of the project is undertaken by the Village Executive Committee (VEC) comprising of 6 men and 6 women, all of whom are elected democratically. In addition to constructing the water and sanitation infrastructure, Gram Vikas spend time building the capacities of this committee to enable them to gradually take over the entire responsibility for managing the water and sanitation infrastructure after Gram Vikas’ withdrawal from the village.
Gram Vikas is an approved project implementing agency for the government’s Swajaldhara water scheme and is also the implementing agency for Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Programme. Gram Vikas also facilitates the BPL and APL households to avail the subsidy of Rs, 4500 under Total Sanitation campaign.
Before construction of the toilets and bathing rooms, young men and women, working as unskilled laborers, are trained in masonry. On completion of the training, they construct the toilets, bathing rooms, and the overhead water tanks. These newly trained masons are assured of work for a period of time if they so desire, many go on to successfully secure lucrative contracts in nearby urban centers, and within a year, their income earning capacity increases by at least three times.
Families are encouraged to do backyard farming with the waste water from the bathing rooms that add to the diet intake at the household level.
Women members are encouraged to form savings and credit groups and initiate small savings after which they are supported to take up Income generating activities.
Although the government is supposed to provide and secure drinking water to rural communities, most often it ends up by installation of a hand pump in the village. With high use, the pumps often break down and the community depends upon the government functionaries to repair the system. In many instances such delays linger for long and people resort to unsafe surface water for drinking purpose.
Government usually prioritizes bigger villages for implementation of water supply projects and the small tribal habitations are left to fend for themselves. There is hardly any intervention in these small habitations that can help the people to get safe water.
In this context Gram Vikas prioritizes its efforts in such remote areas and works with the community to have systems to manage their drinking water needs.
Empowerment of community: Gram Vikas will facilitate the empowerment of community to ensure the sustainability of the project in the long run. Village executive committees will be formed and registered in each project village and responsibility of maintaining assets will be handed over to them once Gram Vikas withdraws from the project area. Leadership development trainings and exposure visits will be organized for the community leaders.
Corpus fund: To meet the future continuation of sanitation systems, village corpus fund with a contribution of Rs1000/- from each family will be mobilized. Return from it will be utilized for financing the social cost of extending the toilets and bathrooms facilities to new families’ in future and thereby ensuring 100% coverage all time.
Maintenance fund: Villagers also form a maintenance fund from community-led livelihood activities, and household contribution that will cover any cost required for maintenance of the gravity flow system
Capacity building: village youth, both men and women will be trained in masonry that ensures villagers are self-sufficient to make any repairs necessary.
Monthly Progress Reports will be used to track the progress. In addition, the Project Coordinator will regularly update the Programme Manager of the progress.
The details are available in the excel sheet attached.
Co Funding Amount:
Community Contribution Amount: $7,500
The beneficiary community contributes according to their financial and physical abilities towards the establishment of WATSAN assets. It may be in the form of manual labor or gathering locally available raw materials like sand, stones and digging of the pipe line trench.