Community-led, gravity flow piped water supply and sanitation system to Kerandi, an un-electrified tribal village in rural Orissa.
The project is guided by five core values: inclusion, social equity, gender equity, sustainability and cost sharing. It uses water and sanitation as the entry point activity to unite the community to take action to improve its well-being and environment. 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 ($22) 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.
LocationOrissa, Gajapati District, India
Primary Focus: Drinking Water - Community
Secondary Focus: Sanitation - Community
People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 220
Kerandi is a tribal village in Raygada Block, Gajapati district having 47 households. 60% of the households live below the poverty line. All of the households, compromising of 104 men and 116 women, including 68 children, would have 24-hour piped water supply to their toilet, bathing room and kitchen. .
School Children Getting Water: 17
Eight boys and 9 girls attend the village school. The village school operating in Kerandi will also be provided drinking water, toilet, and bathing room facilities with contribution from the entire community.
People Getting Sanitation: 220
Kerandi is a tribal village in Raygada Block, Gajapati district having 47 households. All of the households, compromising of 104 men and 116 women, would receive a toilet, bathing, and washing block, each having 24 hours of running water.
People Getting Other Benefits: 220
Gram Vikas staff engage with self help groups of women to impress upon them, the importance of personal hygiene. Small, but instructive messages about using some form of soap (or detergent or ash) to clean the hands after one uses a toilet, bathing regularly and wearing clean clothes are passed on during the regular meetings. Due to the availability of a bathing room, women would find it easier to take care of their personal cleanliness and hygiene. In addition, children are repeatedly guided, in schools, about the importance of hand-washing, keeping their hair clean, keeping nails short and clean etc. Between the mothers and the children, there is often a mutually reinforcing cycle at work, making the need for personal hygiene an ingrained one.
Before construction of the toilets and bathing rooms, young men and women, working as unskilled labourers, are trained in masonry. On completion of the training, they construct the toilets, bathing rooms, overhead water tanks and later on, houses, under the supervision of master masons and technical personnel. These newly trained masons are assured of work for at least one year if they so desire. Some of them go on to become master masons, leading trainings in other project areas, or successfully securing contracts for work in nearby urban centers. Within a year, the income earning capacity of these people increase by at least two to three times. The village fund that accumulates through individual and community contribution as well as interest accruals, can be used at a later stage as collateral to leverage bank loans for community-based income generating enterprises.
Start Date: 2007-03-01
Completion Date: 2008-01-01
Gram Vikas’ solution to bringing a 24 hr, piped water system to an un-electrified village such as Kerandiof is gravity flow water system. A simple and sustainable concept, Gram Vikas’ design of gravity flow water systems has successfully managed to provide continuous water supply to the village. In gravity flow, water from a spring or a well on a higher altitude than the village flows to the village overhead water tank, using the principles of gravity from where it is again distributed through pipes to all families round the clock. Gram Vikas is innovating the current gravity flow design to minimize costs.
The project will be completed in one phase.
A village comes to a consensus such that all families of the community will participate in the programme after a process of dialogue and negotiations between Gram Vikas and the community that may take a few months to a few years. Once the community has agreed to undertake MANTRA, they plan how to form the corpus fund of Rs.1000 per household where the better-off pay more and the poorer less. Once the corpus is collected, the community together with Gram Vikas plans the construction of the toilets and bathrooms and also creates a plan for operations and maintenance (O&M) by identifying common resources such as horticulture plantations, forests or ponds for pisciculture that can be developed to meet all or part of the O&M costs once the system is commissioned.The community drives the implementation of the programme. The community makes the bricks and collects all the local materials necessary for construction like sand and rubble for foundations. Villagers construct the toilets and bathrooms led by trained masons. From each village, youth, both men and women, are trained in masonry during the preparatory phase of the programme. The landless, typically the poorest of the poor, are given priority. The masons are assured work for at least one year and a survey conducted by Gram Vikas found that masons trained under Gram Vikas are able to command significantly higher wages as skilled workers than they could as unskilled labour and also work more days of the year. The community builds the overhead water tank and lays the network of pipes. One or two village youth are trained as pump operators and to make repairs to the system that may be needed. This general body elects a Village Executive Committee (VEC), with 50% of the positions reserved for women, which is registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860. The VEC takes over responsibility for the project incrementally. Once the system is commissioned, the VEC ensures O&M systems are functioning and hygiene behaviors are improved, e.g. the VEC administers a system of fines for open defecation anywhere near the village or unclean toilets.
Women and children are the greatest beneficiaries of this programme - women benefiting from being spared the drudgery of fetching water for household uses and children, escaping the clutches of water-borne diseases, which result in widespread morbidity and mortality.
Access to sanitation is not only a matter of hygiene, it is a statement in dignity - it restores to the rural folk, especially women, their self-respect. Moreover, it is well understood that given the widespread morbidity and mortality in rural areas due to water-borne diseases caused by faecal contamination of water, safe water can never be assured to a habitation in the absence of mechanisms for hygienic disposal of human waste – meaning proper sanitation
Maintenance required for gravity flow water systems is minimal. Maintenance could be needed for pipe joints. The cost of maintenance will be met by the village maintenance fund formed from community-led livelihood activities, e.g. income from pisciculture and horticulture.
Maintenance Cost: $50
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