Not letting the COVID-19 lockdown hamper their work, the coastal State of Andhra Pradesh has constructed as many as 9000 individual household latrines (IHHLs) between March and May 2020. Care was taken to ensure that all safety protocols were followed by masons and workers.
According to State Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) Mission Director, Mr Sampath Kumar, the initiative was a part of the ongoing ‘No One Left Behind’ (NOLB) campaign being implemented by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) across the country.
Donning personal protective equipment such as face masks all workers went about performing their routine work, keen to complete construction of toilets in all districts. Further, all construction sites were disinfected even as workers practised social distancing and washing hands with soap and water frequently.
Additionally, construction of Community Sanitary Complexes (CSCs) – one in each Gram Panchayat has commenced.
As many as 22,049 CSCs have been sanctioned in Andhra Pradesh, of which 9509 CSCs have completed across the districts as below:
|S.NO||District||No of CSCs Sanctioned||No of CSCs Completed|
The balance 12,540 CSCs will be completed within a year, the State Mission Director said. Further, the State has received proposals for the construction of another 7442 CSCs near village secretariats in all the districts which are yet to be sanctioned.
The location of CSCs in each village is based on requirements as mentioned in the districts’ proposals, either in habitations of backward communities, marketplaces, or temples. In all rural areas, the CSCs can be used free of cost by the community.
Swachha Andhra Corporation has been responsible for the design of the CSCs. Each of them has two toilets (one for men and one for women) and four urinals (2 for men and two for women). While the previous guidelines allowed Rs. Two lakhs for the construction of a CSC, the revised guidelines permit Rs. Three lakhs for each CSC.
Operation and maintenance of the CSCs is the responsibility of the Gram Panchayat and they must ensure its proper maintenance and cleanliness to ensure sustainable use of such CSCs by the community. Further, water tanks have been provided for every CSC so that there is adequate water for all users.
Construction of CSCs in the villages having habitations with predominant SC/ST population and in public spaces that see large gatherings is one of the key factors for ensuring universal sanitation coverage and sustainability of ODF status in villages.
Amid COVID-19, all masons and labourers have been provided with necessary protective gear such as masks, hand sanitizers to prevent them from getting infected; and advised to maintain social distancing.