Objective="Awareness of sanitation among rural populations."
Details for Reform Option "Aapni Yojana Sanitation Project, Rajasthan"
In Rajasthan, poor hygiene and sanitation practices in rural areas are a cause of much concern as they have immense consequence on health. A single large pit, without a roof or door was found to be used by most villagers. Few households (9 % in three districts of the State) had some kind of defecation system but they too did not follow basic hygiene practices.
The Aapni Yojana project planned to address the issue of scarcity of water, sanitation and hygiene through community participation. The programme was designed to cover 2.6 million people across 20,000 square kilometres living in 1000 villages and 11 towns in three districts of Rajasthan. The project was divided into two phases. Funding for the first phase came from the government of Germany through Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German Development Cooperation Agency (75%) and the Government of Rajasthan (25%). The technical work of the project was overseen by the Project Management Cell (PMC), Public Health Engineering Department (PHED). While, community participation measures were implemented by the Community Participation Unit (CPU). The CPU - a consortium of 5 leading NGOs of Rajasthan, with the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) in Jaipur acted as the nodal agency.
Institutional mechanisms were set up for the implementation of the project, including the formation of a PMC, CPU and appointing Indian and German consultants. At the village level, Water and Health Committees (WHCs) were formed and a legal contract was signed between WHC and PMC on rights and responsibilities.
Before starting the sanitation campaign, a survey of existing latrines was carried out in order to prepare a village based plan of action. Changing the outlook of people was a necessary prerequisite. Therefore, local people interested in sanitation activities were identified and involved in propagating sanitation issues. To create demand for sanitation facilities, village sanitation drives and health education sessions were organised. The sanitation drives included identifying stagnant water points, garbage points and cleaning through voluntary labour. The health education sessions involved discussing sanitation issues in small groups using various advocacy materials.
To ensure women’s participation, it was made essential that the application for and the location of the sanitary unit in each household is to be made by the women. Villagers were shown a demonstration unit before actual construction started. Local masons were identified from the village and trained on technical and health aspects. The WHC invited applications for construction of toilets, giving priority to poor families, handicapped people, the elderly and households headed by women. A sum of INR 30 was collected from each of the households and used to provide a toilet brush.
Training was organised, giving brief technical details of the sanitation package, its use and maintenance. The project procured the materials needed for construction, delivered them to beneficiaries and made payments to the masons. The beneficiaries contributed bricks and unskilled labour. WHC members’ supervised construction of the toilets. This included procurement and distribution of sanitary materials to beneficiaries; supervising the quality and physical verification of the sanitation unit for preparation of reports.
The first phase of the project ended in March 2006. The sanitation programme was successful in garnering the support of the villagers. About 38% of the households in the project area had applied for the sanitary units, of which the application of about 90% of the families was sanctioned. 22,334 sanitary units were constructed until March 2006.The end term evaluation of Community Participation Unit (sample size was 210 sanitary units) shows the following results:
* 98% latrines and bathrooms were functional
* 98% of the latrines had soak pits of which 99% are functional.
* 99% of the families reported that the bathrooms are used by the whole family.
* 94% of the families reported that the latrines are used by the whole family.
* Civil work of all the units is in good condition.
The utilisation of toilets increased when villagers understood that the material collected in the soak pits could be used as manure. The use of latrines and bathrooms is 90% and 96% respectively.
Initially, the sanitation package was meant for households only, but later demand also came from schools. By the end of April 2005, 358 schools have sanitation units, with separate models for boys and girls.
INR 85,653,074. The project’s contribution was 62% and the rest was contributed by the beneficiaries in the form of bricks and labour.
Villages and towns located in Churu, Hanumangarh and Jhunjhunu districts of northern Rajasthan.
Preparatory phase: 3 years.
Programme implementation phase: 8 years
The project was approved in 1994. The initial phase was preparatory and was spent on developing mechanisms for making the project operational. The project work started in 1997 mainly to garner support for the programme and the actual construction of sanitation units started in January 1998. The first phase of the project was completed by March 2006.
Hygiene: Improves health and encourages good hygiene practices among villagers.
Community involvement: Beneficiaries’ involvement in construction and maintenance of toilets increases their utilisation of the units.
Local resources utilised: Use of local masons for construction results in increased training and employment.
Women-friendly facilities; toilets and bathrooms provide privacy for women.
Cultural ethos: Discourages people to adopt new sanitary practice.
Non-involvement of women: Where ever the site selected for latrines is near the entrance of the house women found it difficult to go freely during daytime.
Cost: People were scared that they have to pay extra for construction and maintenance of latrines.
Involvement of NGOs in creating community participation.
Inter-sectoral and inter-department coordination.
Material provision in place of cash grant.
Community understanding of the importance of sanitation facilities.
Consideration to sentiments of the community.
Participation of women.
Capacity building of WHCs and good rapport of project staff with community.
Sustainable, as long as the following are in place:
*Demand for sanitation units and understanding of the advantages associated with them;
*Involvement of beneficiaries in construction of sanitation units;
*Use of local resources in construction;
*Sufficient time to assess sustainability of institutional mechanisms set-up at local level.
Chances of Replication
Replicable, where the community understands the advantages.
The first phase of the project ended in March 2006. End term evaluation of Community Participation Unit under Aapni Yojana has been done. The findings of the study are very encouraging and show that the project has been very successful.
Dr. Nandini Roy, Research Consultant, National Institute of Medical Statistics, June 2005.
Last Updated: July 2006.