This three year project is based on Gram Vikas’ flagship MANTRA (Movement and Action Network for Transformation of Rural Areas) programme and Water Aid’s District-Wide Approach which aims to contain open defecation and improve health.

Narrative

Changes in the external and internal environment:
The issue of water and sanitation, a vital health issue has been recognized at international levels for many years now. Goal 7 of The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) ensures environmental sustainability and calls for halving, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (Target 10). Recent estimates show that despite increases in water supply coverage in developing countries, 1.1 billion people worldwide are still without access to potable water.

The population of Orissa is close to 38 million, of whom about 87 per cent live in rural areas. In Orissa, according to the World Bank 2003 data, less than 20 per cent have access to protected water and less than 5 percent have access to some form of a latrine. Villagers mostly do not take the initiative themselves to agitate for basic services as they are often divided along economic, caste and tribal lines.

Government of Orissa has initiated several innovative steps in the recent past to ensure increase in coverage and access of water supply and sanitation. It is aiming towards initiating a pilot project in the district of Puri, Orissa in collaboration with Water Aid to test a set of approaches that could ensure speedy implementation of rural water supply and sanitation programs, especially the Total Sanitation Campaign. Recently the government has also increased the subsidy for building sanitation blocks to Rs 2200 from the earlier Rs.1200 for BPL families. It is expected, after this announcement, more households will have sanitary facilities in their homes, and be able to access a potable water supply.
Over the years Gram Vikas has adopted a multi pronged approach and adopted various strategies to improve the quality of life for rural people. Gram Vikas’ aim is to cover 100,000 families by 2010- around 1 per cent of the projected population of Orissa. Presently, over 35,000 families are able to access water and sanitation facilities as a result of Gram Vikas’ interventions.

To spread its developmental intervention to other areas, Gram Vikas is increasingly networking with other rural development organisations within and outside Orissa. This alliance with other civil society bodies is going on for a considerable period of time with the aim of drawing on the experience of Gram Vikas, these partner organisations will be able to implement the MANTRA model in their areas.

Visible Impacts on the lives of the community especially women, children and disabled persons:
The lack of sanitation and water has the greatest impact on women, children and persons with disability. Women and the physically challenged persons have to bear the terrible indignity, and discomfiture of going out into the open to defecate. In order to achieve some level of privacy, women rise before dawn and have to endure the humiliation of searching for discrete locations to defecate. This can expose them to the danger of gynaecological infection, discomfort and possibility of sexual assault and wild animal attacks.

The villages where we carried out a feasibility study found mostly women depend on open wells, tube wells and the village ponds to meet their needs. Fetching water from these sources is time-consuming, tiring, and reduces women’s ability to engage in alternative income-generating activities. Furthermore, daughters are often expected to help their mothers with domestic water provision. This means that sending girls to school is given lower priority and attendance figures for girl children are abysmal. In most of the villages, where we carried out the feasibility study, it was found that the government builds the tube wells.

As we have just started our motivation in these villages, the visible impacts of the programme in the lives of the community are yet to be seen. The women in these villages have shown considerable interest towards this programme as they anticipate it would reduce the drudgery of fetching water and would give them more time to do other household chores, or have time to engage in other activities.

  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 11 Mar, 2011 Implementation Phase
  • Implementation Phase Project started on 1 Oct, 2008 Preparation Phase

This three year project is based on Gram Vikas’ flagship MANTRA (Movement and Action Network for Transformation of Rural Areas) programme and Water Aid’s District-Wide Approach which aims to contain open defecation and improve health.

Narrative

Changes in the external and internal environment:
The issue of water and sanitation, a vital health issue has been recognized at international levels for many years now. Goal 7 of The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) ensures environmental sustainability and calls for halving, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (Target 10). Recent estimates show that despite increases in water supply coverage in developing countries, 1.1 billion people worldwide are still without access to potable water.

The population of Orissa is close to 38 million, of whom about 87 per cent live in rural areas. In Orissa, according to the World Bank 2003 data, less than 20 per cent have access to protected water and less than 5 percent have access to some form of a latrine. Villagers mostly do not take the initiative themselves to agitate for basic services as they are often divided along economic, caste and tribal lines.

Government of Orissa has initiated several innovative steps in the recent past to ensure increase in coverage and access of water supply and sanitation. It is aiming towards initiating a pilot project in the district of Puri, Orissa in collaboration with Water Aid to test a set of approaches that could ensure speedy implementation of rural water supply and sanitation programs, especially the Total Sanitation Campaign. Recently the government has also increased the subsidy for building sanitation blocks to Rs 2200 from the earlier Rs.1200 for BPL families. It is expected, after this announcement, more households will have sanitary facilities in their homes, and be able to access a potable water supply.
Over the years Gram Vikas has adopted a multi pronged approach and adopted various strategies to improve the quality of life for rural people. Gram Vikas’ aim is to cover 100,000 families by 2010- around 1 per cent of the projected population of Orissa. Presently, over 35,000 families are able to access water and sanitation facilities as a result of Gram Vikas’ interventions.

To spread its developmental intervention to other areas, Gram Vikas is increasingly networking with other rural development organisations within and outside Orissa. This alliance with other civil society bodies is going on for a considerable period of time with the aim of drawing on the experience of Gram Vikas, these partner organisations will be able to implement the MANTRA model in their areas.

Visible Impacts on the lives of the community especially women, children and disabled persons:
The lack of sanitation and water has the greatest impact on women, children and persons with disability. Women and the physically challenged persons have to bear the terrible indignity, and discomfiture of going out into the open to defecate. In order to achieve some level of privacy, women rise before dawn and have to endure the humiliation of searching for discrete locations to defecate. This can expose them to the danger of gynaecological infection, discomfort and possibility of sexual assault and wild animal attacks.

The villages where we carried out a feasibility study found mostly women depend on open wells, tube wells and the village ponds to meet their needs. Fetching water from these sources is time-consuming, tiring, and reduces women’s ability to engage in alternative income-generating activities. Furthermore, daughters are often expected to help their mothers with domestic water provision. This means that sending girls to school is given lower priority and attendance figures for girl children are abysmal. In most of the villages, where we carried out the feasibility study, it was found that the government builds the tube wells.

As we have just started our motivation in these villages, the visible impacts of the programme in the lives of the community are yet to be seen. The women in these villages have shown considerable interest towards this programme as they anticipate it would reduce the drudgery of fetching water and would give them more time to do other household chores, or have time to engage in other activities.

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

The village committee of Sebakpur and Danduasipada have started generating the corpus fund. The committees have approached the local MLA to assist them in the implementation of the programme. BPL families can further avail a subsidy of Rs. 2200 (now increased, earlier it was 1200), from the government for the sanitation infrastructure. The initiation of the programme is subject to the generation of a ‘corpus fund’ by the village, to which every single household contributes Rs.1, 000 on average. The corpus is invested, and the interest is to be used by the Village Executive Committee to extend similar facilities to ‘new’ families that may add to the existing households in future, ensuring 100% coverage at all times. In the creation of infrastructure itself, Gram Vikas contributes an amount as a subsidy, while people generate the rest through sourcing local materials (like sand, stones, boulders, chips, aggregates etc), their physical labour as well as cash contributions. Maintaining all facilities created by the programme is the responsibility of the villagers.

Other Issues

Unusual and unexpected issues faced during project execution

What work went particularly well or badly?
Since the programme has just begun in the two blocs of Puri, the inhabitants of the selected villages have shown their keen interest for implementation of water and sanitation programme. In two villages people have taken the initiative to collect the corpus fund and have opened bank accounts to deposit the collected amount. In four villages people have gathered construction material required to build sanitary blocks. In all the villages, village executive committee have been formed to oversee the progress made in this regard and in three villages execution of agreement with Gram Vikas by villagers has been completed.

What mistakes were made? What was the result of these mistakes?
Gram Vikas have been implementing the MANTRA programme for nearly fifteen years, and have had experience of dealing with a wide variety of communities and finding solutions to many problems.

This particular project is still in the early stages, and by applying experience gained earlier, we are moving forward and constantly learning from previous mistakes. As yet, no known mistakes have been made with this specific project.

What challenges were there? Were they overcome? If so, how? If not, why not?
One of the biggest challenges was to motivate people to adopt our core values and in particular 100% social inclusion and cost sharing. Through continuous motivation and regular meeting with community leaders, we were able to instil in their minds the rationale behind our strategy.

What opportunities were there? Were they taken?
Being a coastal district and more advanced in terms of socio economic infrastructures than other southern and western districts of Orissa, people in these two blocks are aware about the need for healthy sanitary and hygienic practices and behaviours. People in these blocks are politically conscious and hope to leverage more funds from the government and other sources to take the village development process further.

What new ideas and innovative work have arisen from this year’s work?
We have forged collaboration with village committees, involved PRI functionaries/MLAs/government staff, SHGs; youth groups etc in the process and hope to come up with new and innovative ideas as progress continues in the implementation of water supply and sanitation programme.

Has there been any significant learning from capacity building workshops carried out this year?
In the month of December a capacity building programme was organised at Gram Vikas, Mohuda, in which nearly 50 participants took part. The participants include PRI representatives, community leaders, youth groups, SHG members etc. They possess the capacity to bring change to the village development process and could act as a great catalyst to take further the process of implementation of total sanitation and water supply programme further.

What learning has there been from other actors/stake holders?
For successful implementation of the programme networking with community based organisations and local collectives is an important aspect.

Learnings

Knowledge of project and process for sharing

Major changes to future plans:
a) What are the critical issues you will be addressing in coming year
Any changes in government policies, internal dynamics of the village, and successful completion of the work and replication of the model in other blocs of the district are some of the critical issues that we will be addressing in the coming years. Further, in carrying out this programme, Gram Vikas may face challenges of attracting adequate and appropriate professional staff, and negotiating the bureaucracy to access government funds.

b) How do you want to move in coming year
By forging collaboration with other community based organisations, local collectives and leveraging funds from the government, we aim to scale up our work, and strive towards the goal of bringing 100% inclusive sanitation and water supply to these two blocs of Puri district.

c) What should be strategic choices need to be made during coming year
By expanding the programme, we aim to produce a ‘spread’ and demonstration effect that would catalyse similar action in neighbouring villages where it does not work directly. Extensive coverage would also help to influence state policy towards providing a supportive environment. To this end, a careful strategy of covering a cluster of Gram Panchayats in these two blocs would be adopted. We hope, such type of approaches would help us to produce a demonstrative effect in the contiguous areas.

d) What will be the advocacy agenda of your program
Awareness programmes on health and hygiene, hand-washing campaign, promotion of school sanitation and hygiene promotion programme and masonry training to rural unemployed youths to widen their livelihood opportunities etc.

e) What support you need from WA(other than financial)
We expect Water Aid to provide expertise guidance in matters of capacity building of project staff and community members, developing information and communication education materials related to health and hygienic behaviour, preparing training modules, identifying thematic areas for PRI support and any other technical issues that may arise.

We want support from Water Aid to do everything in a participatory fashion in consultation with the people concerned. Jerky sudden discussions at Water Aid, where we have to respond without consultative processes undermine the work that we do. Water Aid also should ask for data that it can use. This will give us, the implementing agency to be more in the field and get things done instead of collecting and processing unnecessary data and increasing the bureaucracy in the implementing organisation.

Impact

Funding

Funded:
$196,511
Final Cost:
$196,511
$196,511:
WaterAid

Plan/Proposal