Intending to make the state of Odisha Swachh and Swasth, the Department of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water, Government of Odisha is undertaking a pilot project to effectively manage solid and liquid waste in rural areas of the Dhenkanal district in Odisha. The UNICEF initiative in partnership with Centre for Policy Research (CPR) comes following requests from the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
“The objective of the project is for Dhenkanal to emerge as one of the first districts in India to have “safely managed sanitation” as defined by indicators in Sustainable Development Goal 6.2.1 in keeping with the Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) guidelines for Gram Panchayats (GPs),” said WASH Specialist, UNICEF – Ms. Shipra Saxena.
In this regard, a plan-cum-strategy to achieve safely managed sanitation across all GPs in the district is being developed through stakeholder participation. As per the strategy, the services of the Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) situated in the Dhenkanal municipality will be extended to the adjoining GPs in the district. Further, a pilot project demonstrating greenfield SLWM systems for rural areas along with a suitable plan for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) is also currently under development.
Ms. Saxena informs that the proposed interventions, occurring over a two-year period, encapsulate the following objectives:
- To leverage the available urban FSTP facility for safely managing faecal sludge generated in the neighbouring GPs – Herein, the possibilities of plugging-in select GPs to the already operational FSTP in the Dhenkanal municipality will be explored through techno-economic feasibility analysis.
- To extend support in demonstrating greenfield SLWM pilot projects in identified rural areas – Under this component, a cluster of GPs will be identified for the greenfield pilot in consultation with District, Block, and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
An essential part of the planned activities is understanding the prevailing solid waste management systems in rural areas and the possibilities of co-treating solid and liquid waste. As part of this exercise, the interventions will also lean on the Operation Support Systems (OSS) developed under the Swachh Bharat Mission to estimate the volume of faecal sludge generated per household.
To further foreground ground realities in the proposed interventions, the implementation team will roll out a district-wide sample survey in March. The survey will examine the current solid and liquid waste practices, not only through interviews with rural households in all the blocks but also engaging directly with the local institutional stakeholders and service providers.
Over the course of the project, the data from the survey will be coupled with findings from sanitation market mapping and techno-economic evaluation of various SLWM solutions to identify the relevant SLWM technologies for servicing rural areas in the Dhenkanal district.