MANTRA involves establishing inclusive, community-led water and sanitation systems in rural Orissa. The project will establish 24-hour water supply to 407 families in 4 rural communities in Orissa.

Narrative

The project involves establishing a sustainable water and sanitation system in 4 communities, a total of 407 households
.
The project is now completed with toilets, bathing rooms, and running water with 3 taps (in the kitchen, toilet, and bathing room) in 100% of the households in each community.

The 4 communities are:

(1) Jagnayasala, Ganjam District
109 households

(2) Reddy Jaganathpur, Ganjam district,
151 households

(3) Neulipusi village, Keonjhar district,
55 households

(4) Mali Jaganathpur, Ganjam District
92 households

  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 31 Mar, 2008 Implementation Phase
  • Implementation Phase Project started on 1 Jan, 2007 Preparation Phase

MANTRA involves establishing inclusive, community-led water and sanitation systems in rural Orissa. The project will establish 24-hour water supply to 407 families in 4 rural communities in Orissa.

Narrative

The project involves establishing a sustainable water and sanitation system in 4 communities, a total of 407 households
.
The project is now completed with toilets, bathing rooms, and running water with 3 taps (in the kitchen, toilet, and bathing room) in 100% of the households in each community.

The 4 communities are:

(1) Jagnayasala, Ganjam District
109 households

(2) Reddy Jaganathpur, Ganjam district,
151 households

(3) Neulipusi village, Keonjhar district,
55 households

(4) Mali Jaganathpur, Ganjam District
92 households

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

To ensure financial sustainability, a corpus fund is collected of Rs.1000 per family. Interest from the fund is used to cover the social costs of extending the system to new households, ensuring coverage of all families at all times. It is heartening to report that so far, 123 toilets and bathrooms have been constructed by new families after Gram Vikas’ withdrawal, maintaining 100% coverage in all such villages. Community resources such as horticulture plantations, forests, and ponds are developed to contribute towards operating costs such as electricity for pumping water. Also, in some villages, 0.25% to 0.5% of the harvest goes to operating costs such that payment is proportional to landholding and the landless, typically the poorest, do not pay.

A pump operator is trained to manage water pumping and handle repairs to the system. Intensive capacity building continues for two years after the water and sanitation system is commissioned with the Village Executive Committee so that it can take full responsibility for management of the system once Gram Vikas withdraws, including collecting monthly tariffs where necessary to meet electricity expenses and the salary of the pump operator. The project becomes entirely self-supporting.

Other Issues

Unusual and unexpected issues faced during project execution

The programme involves each and every family in the village without exception. 100% consensus ensures that even the poorest and most marginalized benefits from the same level of service, and has an equal say in deciding how the project should be implemented. This minimizes the chances of the systems established falling into disrepair or disuse. In villages where the programme is established, the village institutions represent interests of all sections, and attempts are made to develop necessary capacities so that they are able to manage conflicts. The village committees have proportionate representation of all caste and class groups in the community. Gram Vikas stays three to five years to build capacities of women and the excluded, so that they can participate on an equal level.. For the first time the poorest woman, the widow, or the dalit (untouchable) feels that s/he has a voice, which will be heard and which matters.

Learnings

Knowledge of project and process for sharing

Our fieldwork is affirming that water and sanitation crucially complement each other. For instance, now that toilet/bathing blocks have been completed in all of the villages, villagers are waiting for access to running water before they use the toilet/bathing blocks. If there is no running water available at the toilet/bathing block, the burden of manually transporting the water falls onto the women. Just as running water is crucial to usage of toilets, toilets are crucial to keep water sources clean. In a wash culture such as ours, defecating occurs in or at local water sources. If toilets are not used, water sources cannot be kept clean, leading to disease due to using bad water.

Impact

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 2100

At least 300 families comprising about 2100 people, in small hamlets not qualifying for government funds for water infrastruture, will be covered under this project, and will have 24-hour piped water supply to their toilet, bathing room and kitchen. Ethnically backward sections of the society form at least 60% of the families covered; the division of beneficiaries between men and women is 1:1

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.

School Children Getting Water: 1000

All children in the villages covered by this project would have access to safe drinking water. Any schools operating in the villages are also provided similar drinking water, toilet, and bathing room facilities with contribution from the entire community.

People Getting Sanitation: 2100

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

People Getting Other Benefits: 2100

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.

Funding

Funded:
$50,902
$50,902:
Blue Planet Network

Plan/Proposal