Water and Sanitation

Individual Health and Hygiene is largely dependent on adequate availability of drinking water and sanitation. Therefore there is a direct linkage with water, sanitation and health. Consumption of unsafe drinking water, improper disposal of human excreta, lack of personnel and food hygiene are the major causes of many diseases. An effort from SOCHARA to improve sanitation situation in rural areas of Karnataka, several activities has been conducted. Some of the activities are listed below.

Training on Community Led Total Sanitation Method (CLTS)

The training through “Community Led Total Sanitation” method is a process of facilitating participatory exercises using different tools, where local community realizes the bad effects of open defecation and decides to stop it through collective analysis of own situation called triggering process.

Tools used for triggering the community.

  • Rapport building with the community members to make them feel comfortable and to gain their confidence.
  • The “faeces calculation” tool especially when it immediately followed the Defecation Map was found very revealing by the community as members were to appreciate the level of faecal contamination in their areas due to open defecation
  • The defecation area transect walk (Walk of Shame) as a ‘must use tool’ since it succeeded in invoking the desired effect on the community.
  • Water and Shit- Initially sealed water is offered to community to drink they won’t hesitate to drink, But after sometime when we pluck hair and touches it on the shit and dips in the drinking water and offer community to drink people refuse even they won’t touch it. Then we explain them how drinking water and food is contaminated by the shit, how the flies carry shit and contaminate our food and water. This glass exercise greatly contributed to the triggering process.
  • The cost of illness and health expenditure due to poor sanitation was also one of the triggering tools used to motivate them to build the toilets.

Mason training

Masons play a predominant role in dissemination of right technical inputs at the village level. In this background it has been felt necessary to orient the masons after Community Led Total Sanitation training methods about different models of toilets in different soils conditions & also to enhance the capacities of the masons during the construction of Low cost model using locally available materials during the training 2-3 low cost toilet models were constructed using local mason from the community.

Appropriate technological option for sanitation

After the triggering process and Mason training the toilets for the individuals were constructed using easily acceptable (low cost toilet model and location specific) and affordable (economic status) toilet technologies and designs. Based on the socio-economic status of the community different models of toilets were constructed by the community from Rs.900/- to Rs.15000/- INR.

Sanitation through fellowship

SOCHARA Bangalore from past several years running “Community Health Fellowship programme” in Bangalore as well as in Madhya Pradesh. Fellowship has diverse group of fellows from researchers, activists, community builders, community and public health professionals. Water, sanitation and waste management is one of the important topics covered under fellowship programme using different modules, which include History of Sanitation in India; SOCHARA experience in sanitation; “Community led total Sanitation” approach; “Technical guidance on construction of Low cost toilet model”; Eco-sanitation; Solid and Liquid Waste Management and Appropriate Technologies in Environmental sanitation.

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