Weeklong IEC activities ahead of World Toilet Day

In the run up to World Toilet Day 2021 that falls on 19th November highlighting the importance of access to safe sanitation for all, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) has recommended various IEC activities to be carried out over a week in all States. 

The main target of this exercise is to eliminate manual scavenging of sewer systems and septic tanks.

In a communique to the States, DDWS said, “…a week-long comprehensive IEC campaign focusing on ‘Mechanised Desludging’ may be organised with an intensive and creative social media campaign using the latest IEC materials (posters, infographics and other audio-visual/short films) or may be designed around World Toilet Day event highlighting the importance of mechanised desludging for ensuring ODF sustainability under the broader goals of ODF Plus.”

It has also advised the States to conduct wall painting campaigns in villages in line with the ‘Mechanised Desludging’ creatives prepared by DDWS.

The events are likely to see a large number of people mobilised at both the State and District levels to undertake the campaign to create awareness and promote behaviour change on adopting good practices, and make it a Jan Andolan.

Key messages to be disseminated:

  • Promotion of twin pit toilets:  Twin pit toiletsare easy to build, economical and long lasting.  They produce sona khad which is good for crops.  By choosing the correct technology, households can ensure an ODF Plus future for all.
  • Retrofitting of single pit to twin pits:  Proper functioning of toilets can be ensured by converting all single pit toilets to twin pit toilets.  Alternatively, a leach pit could be built with a septic tank to safely treat black water/faecal matter.  Also, repairs need to be done for the superstructure, foundation, Y chamber and pit.
  • Mechanised desludging:  How to safety empty a septic tank with the use PPE kits such as gum boots, safety goggles, helmet, mask and gloves.  Step by step procedure for desludging using the appropriate safety equipment has been underlined.
  • Septic tank cleaning is no work for human hands:  Doing so is an indignity to the cleaner and it pollutes the water and land.  Using the right technology can protect everyone.
  • Faecal sludge management focuses on strengthening the value chain with emphasis on safe containment of faecal sludge in septic tanks/single pits, mechanised emptying of faecal sludge, transportation of all emptied faecal sludge to the treatment plant, treatment of all collected faecal sludge and its safe reuse.
  • Steps for FSM implementation in a District:  Preparation of integrated District FSM plan; encouraging in-situ treatment and retrofitting of toilets; studying the viability of FSM for a village; and implementation of ‘emptying, transport, treatment, reuse’ infrastructure.
  • Unsafe disposal of faecal sludge in the open, water bodies or drains or use in agriculturecan pollute the environment and create health concerns.

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