From door-to-door collection of waste to organizing drainage lines for management of liquid waste and construction of a community sanitary complex that ensures access to safe sanitation for all, Handiya village in Virpur Taluka of Mahisagar District in Gujarat is set to be declared as a model ODF Plus village soon.
The village which was declared open defecation free (ODF) in 2017, post the construction of 210 individual household toilets, has a population of 1050 from 210 households.
ODF sustainability: While all households have individual toilets for their use, recently, a community sanitary complex was constructed in a public space, to provide sanitation access to the floating population. This has helped a great deal in sustaining the village’s ODF status. The facility which is used by the entire community is maintained by the Gram Panchayat.
Solid Waste Management: For the past two years, under SBM-G Phase II, increased focus has been given to solid waste management. The district administration had organized exercises that generated awareness amongst the community about the importance of solid waste management and the need for segregation of waste at household level. Thereafter, the GP organized door to door collection of waste. While wet waste is being converted into compost, dry waste is being stored so that it can be appropriately disposed of. Currently a segregation shed is being constructed where plastic waste that is collected from households will be segregated and stored.
Liquid waste management: To address the issue of stagnant water and water overflowing from collection points such as handpumps, the district administration of Mahisagar is constructing drainage lines from all households. This will ensure that all waste water is channeled into community soak pits where greywater will be treated and at the same time help recharge the groundwater table.
IEC activities: IEC activities such as wall paintings, song and drama and digital Swachhata Raths are used to generate awareness amongst the community about the importance of using toilets by all members of the family, cleanliness of village, solid and liquid waste management, and the need to appropriately dispose of plastic waste. In this regard, the community is involved in creating wall paintings and slogan writing, that remind people about safe sanitation practices. This was carried out on a large scale during the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign of the Government of India.
With such activities, Handiya village will soon be a model ODF Plus village, having fulfilled all the criteria stipulated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.