Given that the national rural sanitation coverage has gone beyond 95% with 25 States/UTs and 530 districts declared open defecation free, the major focus now is on sustaining the ODF status and ensuring quality aspects of this status. It is to lay emphasis on this that a National consultation on Open Defecation Free, Quality and Sustainability issues, ODF (Q&S) was organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) on 24th October, 2018.
The consultation held at the SCOPE Complex, New Delhi was attended by Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Shri Arun Baroka, Joint Secretary (SBM-G), Dr. Sonali Ghosh, Director (SBM-G), Consultants from MDWS and Mission Directors/ State Coordinators/ Consultants.
States represented at the meeting were Tripura, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The event began with a comprehensive presentation by MDWS on nine indicators of ODF (Q&S) based on the present status:
Conversion of Dysfunctional Toilets to Functional:
Under this, the goal is to have zero dysfunctional toilets by the end of December 2018. This would mean that all dysfunctional toilets in all States need to be converted to functional and marked in the MIS.
The target is to ensure that 100% geo-tagging is done in ODF states within the next one month, and at least 95% in non-ODF States within the next 3 months. Henceforth, for a village to be declared ODF, it needs to have completed 90% of its geo-tagging.
Given that several proposals for toilets in LOB (left out of baseline survey) households submitted to MDWS have been sanctioned, States are required to complete entry of all names by 30th November, marking both physical and financial progress by 31st December, 2018.
With over 5.2 lakh swachhagrahis registered in IMIS till date, MDWS has indicated that States should target having one Swachhagrahi per village, making a total of 6.5 lakh swachhagrahis. They would also need to indicate if they are active and if they belong to SHGs, ASHA/ANM, or other category of workers.
Second Sustainability verification:
The goal is to ensure that villages which were declared ODF before 6 June 2018 are verified and processes are in place for the sustainability verification.
States are to put in place long term strategy for IEC spend.
The target is to ensure that all single pit toilets are converted to functioning twin-pit toilets. In this regard, States should conduct a survey and then proceed with retrofitting; and also ensure that all toilets with septic tanks have or are connected with a soak pit.
Households accessing shared toilets:
The goal is to ensure that all households having access to shared toilets are provided individual toilets by 31st December 2018.
Community Sanitary Complexes:
All states have to ensure that there is one community sanitary complex in every village by March 2019.