Over 3 billion people on the planet are without adequate means of disposing of their wastes. This project, funded by Charity:Waters brings toilets and bathing rooms to three villages in two districts of Orissa.

Tarda_054

Narrative

Gram Vikas’ interventions start with gaining 100% consensus in the village, which is a non-negotiable requirement. It ensures the whole village benefits from the development process, irrespective of class, caste, or gender, as well as improving the effectiveness of the programme. Even if one family continues to defecate in open spaces and wash in water sources, it will have a negative impact on the entire village. Once every household is committed to the project, then the building of the toilets and bathing rooms for each family in the village begins.

    • Third Party
    Soumyasankha Maiti 11 Months after completion 14 Jan, 2010

    Project Documentation for Minjiri

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    Purpose of the Document

    The document will be beneficial in gaining a proper understanding about how the project was implemented in the village. Learning can be used in new project implementations and would help us to avoid the mistakes and follow the best practices employed in this particular instance. It maps the entire life cycle of the implementation with references to all the stake holders.

    Introduction

    The aim of the entire activity is to map the events and the staged through which the project implementation has gone through in the village of Minjiri. During this activity the people of the village were interviewed on an individual basis and we also conducted focus group discussions to look out for the perception of the villagers on the project. The stake holders of the project like villagers, the Panchayat, staff from Gram Vikas were questioned about their role played and the document is a result of what they said and what they said and what they experienced.

    There were certain difficulties that we came across while going through this process. December being the month of harvest the villagers were very busy in harvesting the paddy and taking it to the rice mill. Apart from the village being a Christian village they were all getting ready for the Christmas festivities which made them even more loaded with work than usual. All the villagers would leave for the fields early in the morning and they would return only after 4 PM. The women of the household also worked in the fields and they would come back and busy themselves with the household work.

    It was difficult to interact with the kids and women because they only knew Soura which is the language spoken there. The text that follows includes the views of the villagers and what they have gone through while implementing this project. The process has been documented based upon what the villagers told us and what we observed during the stay at the village. The villagers were kind enough to take us to all the places which could have helped in making this report.

    Village Profile

    The village of Minjiri is located in Guma block under the Gajapati District. The total number of households in this village is 96.The population of the village is close to 450 with a male to female ratio of approximately 1:1.The people primarily belong to scheduled tribe and speak Soura. The village is mainly settled on the mountains. It covers an area of 4km and the village is spread out with houses lying on the winding road which takes us to the top of the village.

    The village was very homogenous when we looked at the caste system there or on the religion. Christianity is the only faith prevalent and most of them belonged to scheduled tribe. The present generations of the villagers too are illiterate and are majorly involved in agricultural activities. But these people are realising the value of education and have started sending their children to school. There is a primary school right on the top of the village but the villagers say they don’t prefer sending their children to that school as the quality of education is very poor.
    Agriculture is the primary occupation followed by daily wage labourer. Paddy is the major crop and monocropping is followed due to paucity of water. The land holding of the villagers less in this village and there are few families who do not own any land. These families work on leased out land to earn a living. Cashew nuts and maize are grown as cash crops on the mountains where the villagers own land. When rice is not being grown, there are other types of pulses which are grown. One remarkable thing about the vegetation of the village is the occurrence of many coconut trees and one would hardly miss noticing the size of the coconuts which grow there. Besides this all households own a kitchen garden in which they grow seasonal vegetables like bottle gourd, chillies, ladies’ finger, brinjal and spinach. Goat rearing and poultry also forms a part of the family’s income. With forests all around them, collecting various types of flowers and seeds also forms a part of their daily activities.

    A church is located on the highest point of the village which forms the centre of all the social activities in the village. The villagers migrate seasonally to places outside the state like Mumbai, Bangalore and Arunachal Pradesh to find work. They work as daily wage labourers and they earn around 200 for a day’s work if they are unskilled and 400 if they are skilled masons. The migration season starts from January after the harvesting of paddy is done. They come back to the village when it is time to sow the seeds that is around the month of June.

    One can easily notice a change in the daily activities of the villagers due to electrification of the village. A village elder remarked that not very long ago people would go to sleep at 7 PM in the night and would be awake at 4 so that they can make the most of the sunlight available to them. Now things have changed due to electrification. Almost all the people sleep at around 10 and get up late as their life has become a little bit easier. The morning in the village is marked by prayers pouring out of the loudspeaker from the church which give way to romantic Oriya songs as the day progresses.

    Process Followed

    Due to the tedious landscape of Minjiri it was difficult for the project to be implemented. The village is divided into small clusters which the villagers call “saahi”.The houses are lined up on the side of a winding road which leads to the top of the village.
    There is a community water tank which has been funded by World Vision. This tank is used by the villagers as a source of drinking water. Before the project was initiated in the village, the villagers used to go to the spring that flows high up in the mountains. The project here is half way through as water supply is yet to be done.
    When the officials of Gram Vikas visited this village for the first time, it was difficult o get the people out of their homes to even get talking to them. Later when the villagers broke the ice they came down for a meeting where they were explained about the idea of bringing drinking water to their door step. Most of the villagers could see what sort of benefit they will be deriving from this type of activity. That still left some people who were not convinced. They didn’t know if they could manage the kind of money this process would require. Later it was decided the villages would have to be pay only the minimum cash from their pockets to get the project started. The corpus fund money will managed from the subsidy that the families would get. All the other input as from the villagers would be in the form of labor and time.

    So it was around a year back, the construction work started in this village. Before the construction started, a rough estimate was done regarding the number of days that will be required to do the work and also the amount that needs to be invested. The price of construction of one set of bathroom and toilet is calculated on an average basis. That means it might take more money to build a particular facility for one family due to distance and other be adjusted reasons, but the extra cost would where less investment is required.

    Work began for the construction 3 years back. There were groups which were formed and it was decided that work for all the households will begin simultaneously. Before the actual work started there was a mason training which was provided to the villagers. The men folk of the village attended this training and learned the skills of constructing a new building. Once the training was over, work was allocated to each group of people. According to the norms, the villagers had to provide land, bricks and labor for the construction. Other materials like cement, pipes and the pans will be provided by gram Vikas. The villagers perfectly understood this arrangement and prepared themselves to provide labor according to this.

    As a part of the plan, people divided themselves into small groups who would work together to bring up the bathroom and toilets for a few households. When work started one group of people started from one side of the village. The first task was to dig up the foundation. So this task was completed for all the households at the first go. Later they build the bricks in the village itself. It was done by each family of its own. When the bricks were done, they would stack up these up with help of mud and later plastered it with cement provided by Gram Vikas. In the mean time a trained mason would fit the pans and connect the pipes to the drainage. The asbestos sheets for the roof were also provided by Gram Vikas.

    Women’s Role

    The women of the village were shy folks. But when we observe closely, there is no role disparity between the men and the women in the village. One can see women working on fields and doing every other work that the men are doing. Similarly men helped in the household work including cooking. These women live their entire lives on these mountains and rarely step out. So before the project was implemented they never thought that sanitation is a problem. They had to bring water from far off places many a times in the day.

    The women of the village were very eager to know when the work for the water tank will begin. For them it was another chance to come together and accomplish something. The teenage girls were really concerned that if the tank cannot be built then the all the work that they have put down to construct the bathrooms would go waste. They have planted flowers plants outside their toilets to decorate it. But in most of the households these women have made their bathrooms as a storage facility as there is no water supply. They told us that till the time a thing built for the purpose it was meant to be used for is not being used for the same, it doesn’t matter how useful it is.

    The project owes its success to the women of the village. They were a major driving force in most of the families to get them completed. Apart from that these women have worked as much as the men folk. Right from digging up the earth for laying foundation to fixing the water tap, they have done it all. The village committee president is a woman. She lives with her husband and 3 kids and presides over the meetings which are held ince in a month to monitor the progress of the work being done. The villagers had intelligently selected a woman to lead because most men go out of the village for half the year in search of jobs.

    Challenges faced during the Process

    The rocky terrain of the village was the biggest challenge faced by the villagers while constructing the drainage system and digging up the foundation. They would start digging at one place and then encounter huge masses of stones. Depending on how difficult it is penetrate the stone, they would either break it or abandon the area and start work all over again in a new place.
    The availability of the labor is another problem in this village because a lot of people go out to work because they don’t own land in the village. So in the absence of these people the number of hands to work would decrease and thus it would take more to complete the work. There would also be times at which the work would have to be stopped.

    People have built here bathrooms and toilets quite far away from their houses because there is very less space available near their homes. There are some other structures they are so compact and inaccessible that one has to literally jump over a fence to use them. There are families who live high up in the mountains. They have constructed their bathrooms at the feet of the mountain because they are planning to move down in future.
    Due to the absence of any proper road to the individual houses and again due to the rocks, it was very difficult to move the construction material closer to the homes of these villagers. Apart from this devising a way lie the drainage system is also a challenge due to the scattered households.

    Possible Effective Changes

    Physical Changes
    • Better hygiene conditions in the village
    • The village surrounding are much cleaner and inviting
    • Women have to spend less time in fetching water and now are thinking about ways to effectively use this time.
    • Saves the villagers the effort they had to put in everyday to go to the river or the well to take a bath.
    • Drinking water is clean and safe.
    • Availability of water all the year round
    Social Changes
    • The village is supposed to develop a strong feeling of oneness after they have successfully completed the project.
    • Women will play a decision making role along with men.
    • People have started thinking about other ways in which they can improve their way of living.

    Economic Changes
    • With the water that over flows from the tank they can now irrigate some of the farm lands which lie nearby.
    • As women spend less time in fetching water they are now using this time in working in the fields and doing other productive work.
    • Availability of safe drinking water reduces the frequency of occurrence of diseases. Hence expenditure on medicines and hospital care has reduced.
    Looking Beyond

    It has been more than 6 months in Minjiri that the work for the bathrooms and toilets has been finished. But the water tank work has not started yet. The villagers wanted the work to start real soon so that they can complete it before the monsoons arrive. There are some technical problems which need to be sorted out before constructing the tank. The houses lie far flung in the village. So the amount of pipes and other back ground work that needs to be done is huge. As the village has got electricity, it won’t be a difficult job to get the water to the village .The challenge is distribution.

    Apart from the water problem the village lacks a proper school. Most parents who send their children to school have to send them at a very young age to schools which are very far. So the villagers wanted to build a nice school for their children. The women are also keen that their children get proper education. But the girl child in all the families is still neglected and they don’t get to go to school. Going forward the village might turn around their thought process to give their daughters proper education.

    Conclusion

    It is always seen that places rich in resources are always poor. This phenomenon can be reversed in this village. The welcoming soft spoken villagers can easily be mistaken for a bunch of laid back people. But when one gets to see their lives closely, then they show the vigor and passion in them. They are led not by greed but by the eagerness to join the main stream and to make themselves better people. These villagers have huge potential. With the helping hand of Gram Vikas, these people have evolved their thoughts and their knowledge a lot. The basic motive of providing sanitation facility is to check the growth of diseases and providing drinking water throughout the year. There is something else this thing suffices. It is preserving the dignity of these tribal people and giving them a chance to experience the world that has come up outside their homes.

  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 5 Mar, 2009 Implementation Phase
    Chitra Chaudhuri ( Gram Vikas ) About 1 Month after start 31 Oct, 2008

    Tarda - village background

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    Gram Panchyat: Kulusing
    Block: Gunpur
    District: Raygada
    Households: 42
    Tribe: 100% belong to Saura tribe
    Religion: Christian

    General description
    Tarda is a small trial village in Raygada district. The village has no electricity connection, but there is a community solar powered battery, which is used for lighting. Most households also use kerosene lamps at night.
    Gram Vikas have worked with this village since March 2008, on securing 100% consensus from the entire village and implementing the water and sanitation programme.

    Water source
    There are currently four water sources around Tarda; one tube well, and three open wells. On average women spend over one hour every day collecting water, and in summer this time increases significantly, as often these wells dry up, resulting in women having to walk much further in search of water.

    Bathing and sanitation
    Villagers also use the wells for bathing, and the surrounding forest to relieve themselves. The lack of privacy can especially be a problem for women, who often suffer from gynaecological and skin problems as a result of being unable to wash properly.

    Accessibility to amenities
    There is a primary school in the village and a boarding school in Guntli, about 1km away.
    There is a small local market in Guntli also, but the main market is 22km away, in Gunpur, which takes about 30 minutes by bus.
    Gunpur is also where the nearest medical facilities are located.
    The nearest police station is about 40km away in a town called Pratising.

    Livelihoods and food security
    The primary livelihood for villagers is agriculture, although many participate in seasonal migration to the larger cities, such as Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad during the agricultural low season.
    August to October is the period just before harvest, and is therefore a lean period in terms of food supply for most villagers. Households who are registered as BPL (Below Poverty Line) can get rice using their BPL card, but all other food prices go up, making it difficult to eat a well balanced diet.

    Chitra Chaudhuri ( Gram Vikas ) About 1 Month after start 31 Oct, 2008

    Minjiri - village background

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    Gram Panchyat: Ukhura
    Block: Gumma
    District: Gajapati
    Households: 96
    Tribe: 100% belong to Saura tribe

    General description
    Minjiri is a tribal village in the mountainous area of Gajapati district. It is divided into three smaller hamlets: lower, middle and upper Minjiri. Gram Vikas have worked with the village for the past year, on securing 100% consensus from the entire village and implementing the water and sanitation programme.

    Water source
    There are currently two water sources in Minjiri. One of them being a dug well, of which there are 12 scattered around the village, and the other being a large well, which brings piped water from the nearby river. World Vision, together with the Indian government established this piped river water well.
    Currently women fetch water at least twice a day; early in the morning and later in the evening, where they have to travel to the nearby water source, usually taking about 10-15minutes. However, during summer, some of the dug wells, and the river dry up, forcing them to travel much further for water.

    Bathing and sanitation
    Early in the morning villagers use the wells for bathing, usually men and women at different places. However in middle Minjiri, they were bathing together, which can cause problems for women, who often suffer from skin and gynaecological problems due to a lack of privacy, and being unable to wash properly.
    The villagers usually use the forest to relieve themselves.

    Accessibility to amenities
    There is a primary school in the village and a Gram Vikas residential school in Taraba Colony, about 7km away. Most of the children study at the residential school.
    The nearest market is in Gumma, which is about 30 minutes away by bus. Gumma is also where the nearest medical facilities are located.
    The nearest police station is about 16km away in a town called Serong.

    Livelihoods and food security
    95% of the village depend upon cultivation as their primary source of income, other sources include driving, studying and business. Many families also have members who go to the large cities, such as Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad, in search of seasonal work.
    August to October, is the period just before harvest, and is therefore a lean period for most villagers. Households who are registered as BPL (Below Poverty Line) can get rice using their BPL card, but all other food prices go up, making it difficult to eat a well balanced diet.

    Chitra Chaudhuri ( Gram Vikas ) About 1 Month after start 31 Oct, 2008

    Anjarbasingh - village background

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    Gram Panchyat: Kulusing
    Block: Gunupur
    District: Rayagada
    Population: 248
    Households: 61
    Tribe: 100% belong to Saura tribe

    General description
    Anjarbasing is a scattered tribal village in the district of Raygada. It has no electricity connection, and is made up of 4 hamlets; 3 each with 4-5 houses, and then a much larger hamlet with over 10 houses and a central church.
    Gram Vikas have been working with this village since March 2008.

    Water source
    The villagers of Anjarbasing currently get their water from 3 tube wells and 2 open wells situated around the village. Water is collected at least twice a day and used for drinking, washing, and cooking.
    There is a problem of water scarcity during the summer months, when some of the wells dry up.

    Accessibility to amenities
    There is a village school teaching to 5th Grade, and the high school, is just a few kilometres away.
    There is a small market nearby, but the main urban market is 22km away, which takes about 1 hour to get there by tractor.
    The nearest train station is 145km away in a town called Palasa.
    For medical services, the nearest hospital is 22km away, but a government health officer stays in the nearby village, and regularly visits Anjarbasing
    The nearest police station is about 40km away

    Chitra Chaudhuri ( Gram Vikas ) About 1 Month after start 6 Oct, 2008

    Villages chosen!

    Status: Pending

    Operating Status:

    After much turmoil between choosing villages and finding out government schemes applying to them, we finally found 3 villages needing help.

  • Implementation Phase Project started on 5 Sep, 2008 Preparation Phase

Over 3 billion people on the planet are without adequate means of disposing of their wastes. This project, funded by Charity:Waters brings toilets and bathing rooms to three villages in two districts of Orissa.

Narrative

Gram Vikas’ interventions start with gaining 100% consensus in the village, which is a non-negotiable requirement. It ensures the whole village benefits from the development process, irrespective of class, caste, or gender, as well as improving the effectiveness of the programme. Even if one family continues to defecate in open spaces and wash in water sources, it will have a negative impact on the entire village. Once every household is committed to the project, then the building of the toilets and bathing rooms for each family in the village begins.

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

Every village is required to raise a corpus fund, of on average Rs. 1000 per family; the interest is used to extend the same facilities to new households as the village grows. Construction of the water supply does not begin until every household has completed the brickwork of their sanitation block. The water supply system acts as a “carrot” for completing the toilets and bathing rooms. In addition a lot of effort goes into motivating men, women and children to use and maintain the toilets appropriately. Good hygienic habits are taught; hand washing and nail cutting, as well as maintaining the cleanliness of village surroundings. At the same time, Gram Vikas builds the capacities of the village institution to manage their sanitation and water supply systems.

Impact

People Impacted: 895

People Getting Sanitation: 895

Anjarbasingh: 61 Households, 248 people, 62 school children
Minjiri: 96 Households, 468 people, 166 school children
Tarda: 42 Households, 179 people, 49 school children

Funding

Funded:
$30,000
Final Cost:
$30,000
$1:
Charity: Water

Plan/Proposal