Monday, 15 August 2011

Sanitation and developement

                                                                                                                 Bikram Rana
October 2009
Sanitation and development
            In the monsoon of 2009, hilly districts of mid west and far west development region of Nepal suffered from the out break of diarrhea. The death toll due to diarrhea in the mid and far west was a staple for the news and the television comedies unless the outbreak abated. This out break in the mid and far west is a kind of phenomenon which occurs every year and picks it crescendo in the news politics and so on unless it subsides for the season. The crisis outbreak is due to the lack of adequate water and it’s complimentarily parts of health awareness and the practices of not caring personal hygiene. The out break was mainly prevalent in the areas where there are no systematic water systems.
            Diseases due to lack of water tend to be a serious health hazard. When people use very little water, either because there is very little available or because it is too far away to be carried home in quantity, it may be quite impossible to maintain reasonable personal hygiene. Remote people where there is no water system have simply too little water for washing oneself properly or for cleaning food utensils and clothes. In these conditions intestinal infections can much more easily spread from one person to another. Clearly, the prevention of this water washed diseases depends on the availability of and access to adequate supplies of water. The scourge of disease is not only the production of unhealthy mass but is also the means of loss of money and ladder for hardship to the poor people.  
Water supplies alone developed without complementary improvements in personal hygiene, food handling and preparation, and its general health care, are unlikely to produce the expected health benefits. The provision of and use of safe water alone will not be enough to achieve a health impact. Usually, improvements in disposal of waste, nutrition, animal hygiene, housing, and insect and food hygiene is needed as well.
Keeping in mind the importance of sanitation and hygiene, the support of Water Resource Management Programme (WARM-P) Helvetas in drinking water and sanitation, advocates for better sanitation practices supporting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It has strategically in built the sanitation component in its each gravity and rain water harvest drinking water systems.  Sanitation component comprises of awareness and motivation about the need of latrines and the engender of open defecation, latrine construction at house hold level in project area is mandatory for the management of human excreta, garbage pit for the disposal of house hold waste and erection of wooden deck (chaang) for the placement of house hold utensils avoiding the contact from dirt and soil. Helvetas is not the healer of diseases but its endeavor is to prevent people from pandemic diseases through advocacy and implementation of Drinking Water Schemes (DWS) with house hold level latrines.  The death toll in Helvetas drinking water and sanitation project area during the 2009 diarrhea out break was near to nil. For the promotion of sanitation, Helvetas has adopted demand responsive service providers approach in sanitation sector to make it sustainable and self reliance and scale up the sanitation practices. It provides local latrine builders (LLB) training who are involved in the latrine construction in drinking water projects. LLB also play the role of demand responsive service providers in the absence of development agencies.

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