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Community-led Actions for Rural Sanitation in Chhattisgarh

The issue of lack of sanitation (open defecation) is linked to human health, dignity and safety of women and children. People across rural areas in Chhattisgarh predominantly practice open defecation due to traditionally accepted behaviour. Government and several voluntary organizations have implemented many interventions bringing huge resources to the issue of sanitation, but the impact on ground has been slow. One of the major reasons for this has been the lack of involvement and demand from communities themselves for sanitation services. To address the issue of sanitation behaviour change, PRIA, Water Aid and State Public Health Engineering Department of Chhattisgarh have come together to stimulate people’s participation and community led actions for effective functioning of District Planning Committees to improve water and sanitation planning at the local level.

The proposed interventions will be implemented in Ambikapur and Raipur districts of Chhattisgarh (as these areas have a high proportion of open defecation practice). 

Promoting WASH in Chhattisgarh

छत्तीसगढ़ में पेयजल और स्वच्छता को बढ़ावा
• Community led and local government anchored planning and implementation of water and sanitation planning
• Consolidation of sanitation planning and convergence of actions for water and sanitation at District Planning Committee level
• Citizen led advocacy for appropriate policy and structural reforms in delivery of water and sanitation services in rural areas

Specific target groups  
• About 160,000 persons in Raipur and Sarguja districts of Chhattisgarh
• Nearly 20,000 households of Abhanpur and Dharsiva blocks (in Raipur) and Lakhanpur block (in Sarguja)

Methodology/Key components 
1. To initiate community led actions and capacity building of panchayat elected representatives and front-line workers engaged under SBM. A Training Needs Assessment to identify the gaps of different front line workers (anganwadi workers, ASHAs and swachhta doots) engaged under SBM will be carried out. Elected representatives, members of District Planning Committees and of government agencies (e.g., SIRD, ATI, District Collectorate) will be capacitated to facilitate district planning around water and sanitation.
2. Prepare participatory village sanitation plans
3. Conduct mass awareness campaign
4. Advocacy to influence appropriate changes in structures, policies and programmes of the government for people-centric water and sanitation services

The most vulnerable and excluded will be encouraged to participate in the planning and monitoring of all activities related to water and sanitation in the chosen gram panchayats. Efforts to improve governance and accountability of field level government functionaries and panchayat representatives will ensure entitlements to the most vulnerable and excluded. Principles of inclusion and equity will be applied at all levels and all activities. Hence capacity building efforts, planning at gram panchayat level, service delivery activities and community level monitoring mechanism will partner with the most vulnerable and excluded.

The project will ensure emergence of strong community leadership from the most vulnerable and excluded, who will set the agenda and advocate for their rights on issues of water and sanitation and enforce accountability and transparency in the functioning of the governance system.

Improved infrastructure facilities for water and sanitation will give women and girl children dignity as well as help in the improvement of their wellbeing.

Advocacy and networking will provide political power to the most vulnerable and excluded groups to address their basic problems of health and water and sanitation.

Local governments will be recognized as a lead player in delivering services for water and sanitation.

Partnerships between district administration, panchayats and community based organisations will aid monitoring to ensure accountability of local water and sanitation service delivery agencies.

Key outputs/Deliverables 
• Training on preparation of Village Sanitation Plans for about 900 elected representatives from 80 gram panchayats of Raipur and Sarguja districts
• Providing hand-holding support to about 1000 anganwadi workers, ASHAs and swachhta doots at the local level to achieve the objectives of SBM in their local areas
• Capacity building and training programmes for members of District Planning Committees of Raipur and Sarguja so that they can facilitate the formation of district plans on WASH
• Capacity development of government agencies (e.g., SIRD, ATI, District Collectorate) so that they can play their roles more effectively under SBM
• 80 villages prepare decentralized participatory sanitation plans
• At least 6500 household have increase in access and use water and sanitation services as per their needs
• Government-led capacity building of at least 800 natural leaders/volunteers of target villages on water and sanitation
• Capacitated local support system (NGOs, schools and colleges) for water and sanitation
• Participatory mapping of current bottlenecks in delivery of water and sanitation services at local level
• Capacity needs assessment of panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies, village health and sanitation committees, local community based organisations for water and sanitation interventions
• Regulating models of processes for community led planning and actions on water and sanitation
• Changes in Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Swachch Bharat Mission guidelines
• It is also expected water and sanitation behaviour change will become part of local school/college curricula

1 April 2015 – 31 March 2017

Water Aid India




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    Program Officer, Swedish Organisation for Individual Relief
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    Dean, Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
    O.P. Jindal Global University
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    Renu Joshi
    ASHA worker
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    PhD Research Scholar
    Jawaharlal Nehru University
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