A regional review meeting of the North Region States was held in Nainital, Uttarakhand on 30th November, 2018 to review progress of those states on the various ODF plus parameters which includes regular availability and usage of toilets, management of solid and liquid waste, cleanliness of water resources, maintenance of public and household toilets and awareness on personal hygiene.
The meeting organized by State Water and Sanitation Mission, Government of Uttarakhand was held at the R. S. Tolia, Uttarakhand Academy of Administration and was attended by the teams from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Key aspects of sustainability such as geo-tagging, verification of ODF villages, conversion of dysfunctional toilets, IEC expenditure and Swachhagrahi engagement to sustain open defecation free (ODF) status were reviewed during the meeting that was chaired by Shri Samir Kumar, Joint Secretary MDWS, Dr. Sonali Ghosh, Director MDWS and Shri Anil Sharma, Director MDWS.
From the presentations made, it was clear that all States represented had completed over 95% geo-tagging of toilets. While first ODF verification has been successfully completed, second ODF verification is underway. Considering their state specific needs, innovative IEC activities and campaigns have been initiated to ensure sustainable behavior change. In addition, swachhagrahis have been trained and assigned to every gram panchayat to check open defecation and ensure ODF sustainability.
As far as solid and liquid waste management is concerned, in place are various projects to manage waste, even as considerable focus is being given to menstrual hygiene management.
UP’s Kumbh Mela – a mass congregation of Hindu pilgrims is around the corner. All efforts are on to make the event a Swachh gathering. In all States, community participation in the various activities has been enormous.
Field visits to various SLWM projects of the State and was organized following the review meeting.