Nigerian team in Jharkhand to study ODF success
Delegation picks Hazaribag in India for its study; all Jharkhand districts were declared ODF in November 2018. Globally, Nigeria is the second country, behind India, in the ranking of countries with the highest number of people defecating in the open; while in Africa, it ranks firstUpdated: Feb 08, 2019 12:04 IST
Jharkhand had emerged as the role model for open defecation-free (ODF) initiatives under the Centre’s ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), as people from abroad were coming to the state to study ODF success stories, officials said on Thursday.
A 35-member team that has come all the way from Nigeria, West Africa, is on a three-day visit to Jharkhand’s Hazaribag district from Thursday. The team has undertaken a case study in four panchayats under three blocks to understand the initiatives and work done to make the district ODF. The team comprises officials from the Nigerian government and delegates from World Bank and UNICEF.
Globally, Nigeria is the second country, behind India, in the ranking of countries with the highest number of people defecating in the open; while in Africa, it ranks first, as per a report prepared jointly by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The report was released in 2014, officials said.
However, India’s ranking is expected to improve in the next survey, because of the national-level Swachh Bharat campaign, said officials in the drinking water and sanitation department. All 24 districts in Jharkhand were declared ODF in November 2018.
The Nigerian team members said that they had approached the Government of India for a comprehensive study of ODF campaign under Swachh Bharat Mission. “The Government of India suggested that we visit Hazaribag for better study, as the district has done unprecedented work in the field of sanitation,” a delegate said.
Hazaribag district development commissioner (DDC) Jadhav Vijaya Narayan Rao said, “Poverty was a major hurdle for ODF here, which is not the case in Nigeria. They [require] a case of behavioural change among citizens.” She added, “In Hazaribag, [the ODF implementation team] not only built toilets but also ensured their use by bringing about a behavioural change among the people, which was a major challenge. The Nigerian team would study how Hazaribag people adopted the change.”
The DDC said that the delegation would also study community participation in toilet construction; retrofitting work on toilets being done by the Rani Mistri (women masons); Swajal scheme (a solar power-based drinking water system); and GOBAR (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources)-DHAN scheme. The GOBAR-DHAN scheme is aimed at keeping villages clean, increasing the income of rural households, and generation of energy from cattle waste, and these are major components of the ODF-plus strategy. The GOBAR-DHAN scheme was launched in Banha Tola village in Katakmadag block of Hazaribag.
Hazaribag has already earned accolades at the national level for its quality work in toilet construction. The district had toilets at only 56,577 households, against the requirement of 2.32 lakh toilets till 2014. After the Centre launched Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014, the district built over 1.76 lakh toilets in four years, at an estimated cost of Rs 212 crore.
First Published: Feb 08, 2019 12:04 IST