WaterAid India south regional office operates in the four states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We work with five partners and manage programmes on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The programs cover eight districts, 129 blocks, and 12 cities. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana the focus is on district-wide approach on sanitation, WASH in healthcare, urban WASH, water quality & security and menstrual hygiene management (MHM). In Karnataka, we work on WASH in schools, WASH in factories and water quality management. In Tamil Nadu, the focus is on urban WASH planning.
WASH in health is critical to our work in the region and we are working in close coordination with the district administration. The team completed a baseline survey and assessment of WASH infrastructure in healthcare centres in two districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Major gaps were found in the facilities and the administration has acted promptly and a detailed action plan has been developed and submitted for 10 public health centres in each district based on the request from District Collector and District Health officers are in the process of ensuring functional WASH services in the health centres.
The south regional office is also training officials from health and urban water supply in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as resource persons on WASH for the government. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Telangana state rural water supply department on water quality lab assessment and on implementation of water quality monitoring programme of the government.
One of our partners conducted an assessment of 931 schools in 16 districts on menstrual hygiene practices and developed a strategy to address the gaps. We have also built a community of 200 adolescent girls as a core group and trained them on various aspects of MHM. These girls are acting as resource persons within the communities and district to sensitise on MHM and being engaged by the concerned districts to train Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya girls and other frontline workers. The regional office also successfully advocated for inclusion of MHM in the teachers training module of Rajiv Vidhya Mission (RVM), Andhra Pradesh.
We have developed a WASH in school operations & maintenance (O&M) plan at district and state level for Andhra Pradesh government, in collaboration with district and state education departments. The action plan in addition to details of activities, unit costs, and periodicity of the occurrence, contains mechanisms for operation & maintenance, monitoring, financing, and potential sources of funding and is being used extensively.
We stress on community empowerment and strengthening citizens’ platforms like Basti Vikas Manch and other local institutions like VWSC (Village Water Sanitation Committee) and SMC (School Management Committee). The Basti Vikas Manch in Hyderabad is evolving further by developing the second line of cadre building, opening up more participation and bringing more women into leadership roles.
The WASH in schools initiative has been strengthened further in Raichur, the most backward district in Karnataka. The region also has high-levels of fluoride and arsenic contamination in water. Regular water testing with support from the government is a priority here along with providing impetus to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Our partners in Tamil Nadu are enhancing the capacity of city governments and supporting them to develop city sanitation plans as a vision document in 19 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Tamil Nadu as per the National Urban Sanitation Policy of India. The government has recognised the plans and requested us and our partner to support other ULBs in the state to come out with plan.
WASH in factories (Workers Need Project) is a pilot initiative which aims to improve health and the living conditions of H&M textile workers and their families residing in Bengaluru through sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices and services. We train some of the workers and promote them as WASH trainers. We also work in the communities and schools where families of garment workers reside and study to demonstrate sustainable WASH practices and improved WASH infrastructure.
Achievements so far:
- We have reached 176616 people with water, 135797 with sanitation and 530245 with hygiene from April 2014 to September 2015.
- Demonstrated decentralised solid waste management (rural and urban) systems in 11 towns and one block of Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad. The work has showcased how simple systems which are owned by the community jointly with the local government can help convert waste to reusable resources like manure. This also promotes livelihood opportunities for the poor and leads to totally clean communities.
- Demonstrated integrated model school WASH infrastructure and management to ensure sustainability and progressive improvements in service standards covering around 600 schools in Karnataka.
- Three pronged approach to target WASH among 15 factory workers by training the workers, the community where they live and schools where the children of factory workers study, has become a model to other factories as they practice WASH at all the three levels, resulting in learning for other residents of Bengaluru.
- City Sanitation Plan (CSP) submitted in selected urban local bodies (ULBs) of Tamil Nadu has changed the policy for SBM in the state, resulting in government issuing a circular that all plans of the ULB will be sanctioned or approved provided there is a CSP prepared for such ULB before requesting for funds under SBM. We are currently supporting 216 ULBs to develop their CSPs.
- Developed village drinking water security plans in six panchayats of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as a local government-led process with people’s participation. The successful initiative helped the communities to develop a long-term vision on water security.