With a view to ensuring that all people, regardless of class, caste or religion have access to sanitation, the district administration of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is carrying out a house to house survey to check status of sanitation facilities and usage.
According to CEO-Zila Parishad, Mr. Om Prakash, the ODF (open defecation free) verification process is being carried out by teams comprising Block Development Officers(BDOs), Panchayat Extension Officers (PEOs), PRI (Panchayat Raj Institution) members along with members of the village community in Jaisalmer to ensure that no one is left behind. The District Magistrate and CEO have accompanied the teams in some instances.
The ODF verification was carried out across all the 140 GPs including revenue villages from 28th to 30th January 2020. The teams went from door to door to check if the families had toilets and if they were being used.
During the teams’ interaction with the community, they always motivated them to use toilets, reiterating the importance of adopting safe sanitation practices. However, if they found homes without toilets, in most cases, on-the-spot digging of toilet pits to build IHHLs commenced.
Mr. Om Prakash also informed that of the 140 community sanitary complexes (CSCs) sanctioned for the district, as many as 63 have been completed while the balance are in progress. Each of CSCs have toilets and urinals, separate for men and women, a bathing area and wash basins. Although majority of them have been built in common areas such as temples and marketplaces that see large crowds, some have been built in smaller pockets that earlier resisted attempts to provide access to safe sanitation.
People they met were also sensitized about the need to maintain toilets regularly and manage their waste, starting with segregation at source. Work pertaining to solid and liquid resource management has commenced in several GPs.
“If we receive requests for more community toilets, we will build them after getting state approval,” he said.
As per the baseline survey of 2012, some homes did not have toilets. While several families were motivated to construct their own toilets, Jaisalmer district administration constructed 29,055 individual household toilets, and some community toilets under SBM-G and the district was declared ODF in October 2017.
Over the last year, toilets were built for new households and those from the floating population.
“Today approximately 90 per cent of those who have toilets are using them. We shall continue to motivate them until we achieve 100 % usage,” the CEO said.