- Nizamabad district constructed over three lakh toilets in two years
- A pilot project with three villages was the model followed by the district
- The district is now working towards waste management post becoming ODF
There is nothing more satisfying for any district administration than successfully ensuring that the whole district’s population has access to proper and safe sanitation. District officials of Nizamabad in Telangana experienced a similar sense of achievement on December 5, when the district was declared completely open defecation free (ODF), a result of the district administration’s effective policies and relentless hard work. Nizamabad was declared ODF by Member of Parliament Kavitha Kalvakuntla. Telangana has done moderately well under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with sanitation coverage of 68.55 per cent but for
Nizamabad, the sanitation scenario was not remotely close to what it resembles today. Many villages had no individual household toilets and were not aware of how toilets could be built without incurring too much expenditure. Keeping the scenario in mind, the three villages of Devunipalli, Lingampalli and Mallaram were chosen as pilot projects. After month-long awareness camps were held in these three villages in November 2015 it was found that by January 2016, household toilet coverage in these three villages had increased to 100 per cent. The toilets were built using funds from the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) and Department of Rural Water and Sanitation (DRWS).
We wanted to ensure that our district becomes ODF by the end of 2017 and gave ourselves exactly two years to accomplish that goal. After the success of the pilot projects undertaken in three villages, we decided to implement the same model of sensitising people about sanitation and building toilets using DRDA and RWS funds, said A. Ravinder Reddy, Joint Collector, Nizamabad.
Over 3 lakh toilets have been constructed in Nizamabad in the past two years. The district has a total of 3,06,032 households. Out of the 3 lakh toilets, two lakh have been constructed voluntarily by the residents who have been reimbursed under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The rest of the toilets were built by the district administration utilising DRDA and DRWS funds.
Our active campaigning ensured that people of the district became sensitive enough to access their neighbour’s toilet if they did not have their own. The toilets will be built within two months and every household in the district will have toilets, said Mr Reddy.
At the ODF declaration function, local MP Kavitha Kalvakuntla advised the district officials to construct community pits in all the households so that water can be soaked into those tanks and used later. She also said that the next step for the district should be to actively participate in waste management, and propagated the construction of waste disposal yards from where garbage can be regularly collected. She also said that 1,000 garbage collection rickshaws have been distributed in the district to facilitate proper waste management.
Nizamabad going ODF is a big boost for Telangana, which now has four ODF districts out of nine. Rural Telangana has set a target of becoming wholly ODF by March 2018 and the Nizamabad model could help other districts of the state to achieve this target.