Rural Sanitation Strategy: 2019-2029
- 28 Sep 2019
- 4 min read
Recently, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched the 10-year Rural Sanitation Strategy starting from 2019 up to 2029.
- The strategy has been prepared by DDWS, in consultation with the State Governments and other stakeholders.
- It lays down a framework to guide local governments, policy-makers, implementers and other relevant stakeholders in their planning for Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus status, where everyone uses a toilet, and every village has access to solid and liquid waste management.
- The strategy aims to sustain the behavioral change regarding sanitation that has been achieved under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) and ensure that the focus is shifted to increasing access to solid and liquid waste management in the rural areas of the country.
- The 10-year strategy also demands focused intervention through capacity strengthening, IEC (Information, Education, and Communication), organic waste management, plastic waste management, and water management.
- Public financing has played an important role in the ODF journey but for the maintenance of toilets and infrastructure, the need is there for innovative models for sanitation financing.
- With regard to waste management elements, there will have to be a convergence of funds from the Centre, states, Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) and alternative sources of financing, including private funds.
- Discussions are still underway on the budget requirement and whether funds will be disbursed via a centrally sponsored scheme or through Finance Commission transfers to PRIs.
- The strategy highlights the potential collaborations with development partners, civil society and intergovernmental partnerships.
Open Defecation Free (ODF), ODF+, ODF++ Status
- ODF: An area can be notified or declared as ODF if at any point of the day, not even a single person is found defecating in the open.
- ODF+: This status is given if at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.
- ODF++: This status is given if the area is already ODF+ and the faecal sludge/septage and sewage are safely managed and treated, with no discharging or dumping of untreated faecal sludge and sewage into the open drains, water bodies or areas.
- India has seen a sanitation revolution in the form of SBM-G that transformed itself into a Jan Andolan (a people’s movement).
- Since the launch of the SBM-G in 2014, over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural areas.
- Till now, over 5.9 lakh villages in 699 districts and 37 States/UTs have declared themselves as Open Defecation Free (ODF).
- It is because of the SBM-G that India is now an inspiration, in terms of sanitation for other countries.
- To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October 2019, the Central government is ready to dedicate a Swachh Bharat to India.
- To ensure this, the State Governments have been advised to take a note that no one is left behind, and in case any household does not have access to a toilet, they are facilitated to build a toilet on priority.