Swachh India

Swachh Hygiene Index

Since the announcement of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan two-and-a-half years ago, individuals, communities and government bodies have busied themselves in a flurry of activity to realise the dream of a clean and sanitary India. While someone is trying to bring toilets to a remote village, someone else is trying to clean a river, while others are simply trying to build toilets for their own households. This is the true story of the ambitious Swachh India campaign—a recognition that the country will never be truly ‘swachh’ until all stakeholders, from the government to corporates to each and every citizen, participate and do their bit.

To maintain the momentum and keep these efforts on track, constant evaluation is needed. And this is where the Hygiene Index comes in.

Read More: Swachh Hygiene Index: How Close Are We To The Dream Of A Swachh Bharat?

The Hygiene Index has been developed in support of the Swachh Bharat Mission, and evaluates various parameters that can help nudge cities in the direction of better sanitation and hygiene.

Swachh Hygiene Index

Here’s what you need to know about the Hygiene Index.

What is the Hygiene Index?

The Hygiene Index is a tool that evaluates the performance of cities in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors and rates each city and area covered on a scale of 5.

Which cities have been covered?

As a part of its first phase, the Hygiene Index covers 10 cities. These are Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bhopal, Gandhinagar, Nagpur, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Pune, Raipur, Udaipur and Varanasi.

Eventually, this programme will be extended to monitor 100 cities in India.

Who has undertaken the survey?

The Hygiene Index has been developed by the Reckitt Benckiser, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and EY.

What are the areas of evaluation?

There are six areas of evaluation—solid waste management, sewerage, toilets, drinking water, health and behavioural change communication. All these areas have been given equal weight and graded on a scale of 5. A city’s total score is based on an average of its performance in these six areas.

How has the data been collected?

The Hygiene Index relies on primary and secondary data collection as well as stakeholder consultations. The primary data has been sourced from the cities’ civic bodies and consultations with government officials. This is what has been mainly used to determine each city’s performance and rank. Secondary data that was looked at were reports and investments in hygiene sectors linked to various CSR activities.

What is the difference between the Hygiene Index and the Swachh Survekshan?

Swachh Survekshan is a similar survey sanctioned by the Ministry of Urban Development and conducted by the Quality Council of India. It evaluates and ranks cities based on cleanliness and other aspects of urban sanitation.

The Hygiene Index goes beyond this by assessing drinking water and health as well as the other areas. Additionally, the Hygiene Index also makes suggestions on how city municipal bodies can improve their performance and looks at the relationship between investment and performance.

Also Read: Swachh Survekshan: The Government’s Annual Cleanliness Report Card

What does the survey hope to achieve?

While evaluating how well cities are doing in areas associated with hygiene and sanitation, the Hygiene Index's main purpose is the identification of areas where cities can perform better, where civic bodies need to invest more resources and other gaps that need to be addressed. Based on this, for each city, the programme creates a ‘call to action’ to chart out a list of things each city needs to do to improve general cleanliness. Going a step further, the programme will also conduct capacity building workshops for city administrators to raise these points and help the figure out steps to address them.

Udaipur

A Tourist Haven That Needs To Up It Swachh Game

Image Credit: istockphoto.com/indahs

Hygiene Index Score:
3.09/5

Udaipur may be the beautiful city of shimmering lakes and palaces but on the hygiene and sanitation front, it doesn’t perform too well, coming in second last in the Hygiene Index. The city seriously lags in the solid waste, sewerage and behaviour change communication sectors.

What Udaipur has gotten right are toilets. The city performs better than the average score for all cities covered by the Hygiene Index for both individual household toilets and public toilets which are adequate for the entire floating population. Even when it comes to solid waste collection, Udaipur seems to be on the right path, managing to collect 80 per cent of the solid waste generated in the city. However, the city registers a low score in this area because of its inability to scientifically dispose of this solid waste and poor household solid waste collection coverage.

Major Pain Points

Sewerage and behaviour change communication are the other areas of concern for Udaipur. When it comes to sewage, the quality of its treatment matches the required standards but its capacity only covers a fraction of the city’s households.

The Hygiene Index report on the city suggests that the city ramps up its efforts and investment to ensure that the extent of this coverage widens.

Suggestions for Improvement

Other than this, the report also suggests that the city’s civic body look at creating behavioural change among individuals and communities, stating that this would be the cornerstone of efforts to improve the city’s overall hygiene and sanitation.

Watch: Banega Swachh India Campaign Launches E-Curriculum In Rajasthan

“We suggest that Udaipur Municipal Corporation (UMC) start a modular school education programme focusing on personal hygiene, hygiene at home, hygiene in school, hygiene in illness, hygiene in the neighbourhood etc. A similar programme has been initiated nationwide targeting 2.5 million school kids along with their teachers and families,” the report reads.

Varanasi

More Than Half Of Varanasi’s Houses Do Not Have Direct Access To Drinking Water Or Sewerage Systems

Image Credit: istockphoto.com/filmlandscape

Hygiene Index Score:
3.15/5

It is the Prime Minister’s very own constituency and a city that is constantly in focus for efforts to clean the Ganga, however, Varanasi’s performance in the areas of hygiene and sanitation leaves much to be desired. The holy city finds itself in the bottom half of the Hygiene Index.

Major Pain Points

Varanasi’s problems are similar to the other poorly performing cities and are related to solid waste, sewage and behaviour change communication. Only 30 per cent of the households have direct access to drinking water and a negligible number of households are connected to the main sewerage networks.

Also Read: Varanasi: One Of India’s Holiest Cities, Death And Dirt Envelope It

While the city is efficient in collecting and disposing all the solid waste it generates, it lags behind in its coverage of household solid waste and its segregation.

Suggestions for Improvement

The report states that the city municipality needs to ramp up its efforts to connect all the households to the water supply, sewerage and solid waste system.

“Less than half of the population is connected with these systems at present,” it finds.

A whopping 90 per cent of the Varanasi Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) funds are invested in the sewerage sector. However, the Hygiene Index report believes that the city’s performance could be improved by investing more in the solid waste sector and in behaviour change communication.

“To improve hygiene and health in the bottom-of-the-pyramid communities, increased awareness, improved sanitation and drinking water infrastructure, and provision of ‘product bundles’ for prevention and treatment of diarrhoea may be undertaken,” the report states.

Raipur

Why Raipur Is The Poorest Performer And What It Can Do

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Hygiene Index Score:
2.80/5

Amongst the 10 cities surveyed by the Hygiene Index, Raipur sits right at the bottom. Multiple factors contribute to this—an extremely poor sewerage system, 59 per cent of households not getting direct water supply and inadequate door-to-door solid waste collection coverage. However, it’s not all bad. Raipur does manage to perform quite well in the toilets and behaviour change communication segments.

Major Pain Points

If Raipur wishes to continue performing well in the toilets sector, it does need to significantly beef up its sanitation infrastructure. Without this, the city could be staring at an impending sanitation crisis. As of now, an estimated 1,99,950 households in the city have their own toilets and there are enough public toilets to cater to the floating population.

Watch: Chattisgarh To Be Open Defecation Free By October 2, 2018: Chief Minister Raman Singh

Among the various sectors, the RMC (Raipur Municipal Corporation) invests an incredible 71 per cent of its funds in water. Other sectors remain largely ignored with solid waste getting 8 per cent of the funds and sewerage getting 4 per cent. Interestingly, while Raipur performs exceedingly well in the toilets parameter, RMC invests only 1 per cent of its funds here.

The Hygiene Report says that Raipur needs to significantly increase its investment across sectors to improve its overall hygiene and sanitation situation. Further, the report says that RMC should concentrate on channelising its funds towards capacity building in these areas.

Suggestions for Improvement

So what can Raipur do to improve its ranking? Aside from allocating more funds to improve its sewerage systems, the Hygiene Index report says that the city should look into the possibility of creating a decentralised sewerage treatment system which is less capital intensive.

Additionally, the report states that the RMC should build on its awareness creation activities by creating change leaders within the society who could help mobilise and educate at the grassroots.

Bhopal

100% Solid Waste Collection, But No Means To Process It

Image Credit: istockphoto.com/Aapthamithra

Hygiene Index Score:
3.39/5

Bhopal can be considered a star performer in several aspects — most households have their own toilets, there are enough public toilets to cater to the entire floating population, every bit of the solid waste that is generated is collected and it can treat more water than its needs.

Watch: 'I Clean' Team Fixes Bhopal With Graffiti

However, there are certain glaring problems that pull down the city’s Hygiene Index rating. The biggest of these is that while Bhopal boasts of a 100 per cent coverage for household door-to-door solid waste collection, it has no processing unit for all this waste.

Major Pain Points

The other major hurdle Bhopal must cross is its poor sewerage system. The Hygiene Index gives the city an overall 2.2/5 in the sewerage segment and 1.5/5 for the coverage of its sewerage infrastructure. The report draws attention to the urgent need to invest in a decentralised sewerage system.

The report further suggests that the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) turn its attention to behaviour change communication.

Suggestions for Improvement

“For the success of every community-level intervention, it is crucial that the local population is aware of it and supports it. Therefore, BMC needs to effectively utilise the allocated BCC (behaviour change communication) funds to spread awareness about the importance of hygiene and the ways to achieve it,” the report states.

Currently, the BMC does not spend any money on behaviour change communication with most of the funds being allocated to infrastructure.

The report believes that if the BMC targeted young children, it could galvanise a huge change in the attitudes to hygiene and sanitation in the coming years.

“We suggest that BMC starts a modular school education programme focusing on personal hygiene, hygiene at home, hygiene at school, hygiene in illness, hygiene in the neighbourhood, etc,” it recommends.

Allahabad

Allahabad Needs To Focus On Educating Citizens In Hygiene And Sanitation Practices

Image Credit: istockphoto.com/ClaudineVM

Hygiene Index Score:
3.3/5

In the race for swachhta, Allahabad falls somewhere in the middle. While the city is doing fine in the areas of water, toilets and sewerage, it has some serious catching up to do in those related to health, solid waste management and behaviour change communication.

Major Pain Points

Interestingly, while Allahabad spends 41 per cent, the largest chunk of its funds, on solid waste, its performance in this area is poor. This is reflected in the 2.43/5 it gets in the Hygiene Index. The biggest problem is that more than half of the city’s 1.9 lakh households are not covered by any door-to-door solid waste collection service. Even the solid waste that is collected is not segregated effectively. The Hygiene Index recommends that the city ramp up its solid waste infrastructure.

In the area of toilets, nearly 90 per cent of all households have access to individual toilets and public toilets manage to cater to 75 per cent of the floating population.

Suggestions for Improvement

Allahabad’s civic body currently spends 7 per cent of its budget on behaviour change communication but that is not enough to make a significant difference. The Hygiene Index report suggests that Allahabad increase this expenditure and start a comprehensive programme to equip mothers, panchayat members and others with the ability to educate others about the best hygiene and sanitation practices.

It further says that the latest technology such as mobile apps could be leveraged to educate and mobilise people coupled with traditional methods such as wall paintings, posters and street plays. This could help pull up both the health and behavioural change scores.

Ahmedabad

Leads In Toilets, Lags In Behaviour Change Communication: Ahmedabad’s Swachh Story

Image Credit: istockphoto.com/siraanamwong

Hygiene Index Score:
3.9/5

Gujarat’s largest city and economic hub, Ahmedabad, fares better than most cities in crucial areas like toilets, water and sewage. All of the city’s 1.4 million households have access to toilets and 90 per cent of the households are part of a network that provides them with clean water and links them to direct sewage lines. This is supported by extensive investments made by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in these sectors. Water and sewage alone account for three-fourths of the civic body’s spend.

Major Pain Points

However, the biggest gap for Ahmedabad is its lackluster commitment to creating behavioural change. For behaviour change and awareness about hygiene and sanitation issues, the Hygiene Index gives Ahmedabad a 2.5/5.

This is below the 3.3 average of all the cities that have been surveyed and significantly pulls down the city’s overall score.

Awareness and behaviour change activities have a direct impact on the hygiene conditions of any city and can help to create a healthy living environment.

Suggestions for Improvement

Recognising this, the Hygiene Index encourages the AMC to target increasing awareness amongst ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid communities’ to help improve hygiene and health. Similar interventions have successfully been done in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and West Bengal as a result of which 2 million people have shown better awareness.

Another point the report suggests work on is segregating solid waste and its scientific treatment. While solid waste collection systems in the city are good, there is not much segregation currently being done. The Hygiene Index gives Ahmedabad a mere 1.6/5 for segregation of solid waste and 1.6/5 for the scientific disposal of solid waste collected.

Nagpur

Nagpur Needs To Focus On Changing Behaviour To Improve Health And Hygiene

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Hygiene Index Score:
3.72/5

Nagpur features in the top half of the list of the cities surveyed in the Hygiene Index. The city largely seems to be on the right track with 83 per cent of its households having individual toilets. There are enough public and community toilets to cater to about 80 per cent of the floating population. In terms of solid and liquid waste management, door-to-door solid waste collection services reach 76 per cent of the households and Nagpur has the capacity to treat 78 per cent of its sewage. However, health remains a thorn in the city’s side.

Major Pain Points

Nagpur fares poorly in the ‘health’ parameter of the Hygiene Index report. A look at a break-up of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s expenditure reveals the reason for this.

While solid waste and water take up 85 per cent of the funds, investment in health is zero.

Even in the ‘behaviour change communication’ category, that is closely associated with improving public health, Nagpur underperforms with a 3.2/5 score which is below the average of all the cities surveyed.

Suggestions for Improvement

For this reason, the Hygiene Index recommends that Nagpur pay more attention to creating behavioural change to improve health and hygiene in communities, as it has been seen that empowering society and making individuals responsible for their actions are the building blocks to improving the state of health and segregation of solid waste.

The report suggests that the city’s civic body should concentrate on increasing awareness, improving sanitation and drinking water infrastructure and providing ‘product bundles’ for the prevention and treatment of diarrhoea.

Gandhinagar

Swachhta In Gandhinagar: A Need For More Public Toilets And Behaviour Change

Image Credit: gandhinagar.gujarat.gov.in

Hygiene Index Score:
3.56/5

Gujarat’s capital finds a slot right in the middle of the list of cities surveyed under the first phase of the Hygiene Index. Gandhinagar performs well in the water and sewerage sectors. More than 42,610 of its 49,000 households get clean water while 86 per cent of its households are linked to main sewage lines. However, more attention needs to be paid to building public toilets and behaviour change communication.

Major Pain Points

While all households in the city have access to individual toilets, the number of public toilets available are grossly inadequate for its floating population. Only 30 per cent of the city’s population can be serviced by the existing toilets.

Other than this, Gandhinagar does not perform very well in the behaviour change communication (BCC) and health parameters as well. The Hygiene Index gives the city a score of 2.5/5 for BCC. This is below the 3.3 average of the 10 cities that have been surveyed.

Health in Gandhinagar, measured in terms of the incidences of gastrointestinal diseases, gets a 2.6/5 which is the same as the average in this parameter.

In 2015, the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) invested 10 per cent and 3 per cent of its budget in BCC and health, respectively.

Suggestions for Improvement

The Hygiene Index Report on the city suggests that the GMC ramp up its investments in these sectors.

The conclusion drawn by the survey is that the attitudes of the people and lack of awareness are directly affecting the city’s hygiene conditions. For this reason, it states that the GMC needs to effectively utilise the allocated BCC funds to help make people, who are the primary stakeholders, responsible for their actions and invested in sanitation and hygiene.

“Our suggestion is that GMC starts a comprehensive BCC programme where change leaders are created within the society. These change leaders can use the latest technology means such as mobile apps to educate and mobilise people and, at the same time, use effective tradition methods such as wall paintings, posters and street plays to improve its hygiene status,” the report states.