Owing to the implementation of various IEC activities that promoted the effective management of solid and liquid waste, Sujanpur Gram Panchayat (GP) in Jajpur district of Odisha will soon be declared a model ODF Plus GP soon. The initiatives are in keeping with the guidelines of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) Phase II.
An ODF Plus village is one that sustains its ODF status, ensures that solid and liquid waste, are effectively managed, and is visually clean.
Consisting of four revenue villages namely Sujanpur, Hasanpur, Durgapur and Kashipur with approximately 1700 households and a population of more than 8000, Sujanpur is situated nearly 15 km from the district headquarters. Given that the GP is a low-lying flood-prone area with its own set of challenges, it was not initially clean.
With the implementation of SBM-G Phase-II in the district, ODF Plus activities were initiated in the GP on a pilot basis. It included various IEC activities to generate awareness amongst the community about the importance and need for solid and liquid waste management, particularly the need to segregate waste at source, curb the use of single-use plastics, ensure the reuse of greywater in kitchen gardens or construct soak pits to treat greywater and enhance the groundwater table.
To bring about hygiene and safe sanitation practices, there were IPC (interpersonal communication) activities and group meetings that dwelt at length on ODF Plus issues. Moreover, the GP-level federation with the support of the Block level federation and SHGs conducted door-to-door awareness programmes using leaflets, posters, banners, and wall paintings. Rallies that involved school students, civil society, and PRI members made a considerable impact.
People’s queries were channelled and resolved through institutional efforts and group meetings. The district collaborated extensively with UNICEF and UNDP to ensure water sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) practices in schools and Anganwadis as well as in the management of solid and liquid waste in the district.
Steps were taken for proper utilization of MGNREGA, CFC, and SFC funds in addition to SBM-G funds for the implementation of different ODF Plus activities in the GP. The MGNREGA action plan and the incorporation of ODF plus activities were mapped in Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
All such activities improved the cleanliness parameters of the GP and the village premises became visually clean. Following the construction of individual household compost pits as well as institutional/community compost pits, all people now segregate their waste and compost their biodegradable waste at the household level.
SHG members were engaged in door-to-door collection of non-biodegradable waste through battery operator vehicles (BOVs). Garbage bins and compost pits have also been installed in the market area and the local haat with clear instructions for the segregation of waste and composting of biodegradable materials. The process has shown good coordination among the market committee members and the Gram Panchayat.
The systems in place are working well with regular monitoring by the GP and SHG members who are involved in door-to-door collection earning an income. School premises are kept clean and tidy and the students are aware of personal hygiene and handwashing before meals and after using the toilet. Taking inspiration from Sujanpur GP, adjacent GPs too have initiated sanitation-related works.