Providing Clean Water and Sanitation Facility to All
● India, a nation that boasts of being one of the fastest growing economies of the world has ironically failed to
provide its citizens, especially those belonging to the rural strata of the society the two basic necessities of life,
Clean Drinking Water and proper Sanitation facility.
● Our country as a whole loses 90 million work days a year due to water borne diseases, which is equal to 6
billion INR in production equivalent.
● Over one lac of people die in India every year due to common water borne diseases such as Cholera and
● The Global Health and Education foundation reports that in some areas of India, when there is scarcity of water,
just to collect water, women often spend about three hours back and forth by walking 16-20 kilometers every
single day. It also says that on average, women or girls in developing countries have to walk six kilometers per
day in search of water. Spending hours and hours in search of water often stop girls from going to school, thus
hampering the holistic growth of the nation.
● Providing clean water and ensuring proper sanitation facility for one and all is thus a challenge that lies ahead of
us as we move ahead on educational and economic fronts.
● Microbiological Safety
– Our country as a whole loses 90
million work days a year due to water
borne diseases, which is equal to 6
billion INR in production equivalent.
– The primary contaminants being
human and animal waste
● Chemical Safety
– Main toxics are Arsenic and Fluoride
– Arsenic 35-70 million affected in West
– Fluoride over 150 districts , being a
major cause of anaemia
● Sufficient Supply
– WHO defines access to water as
availability of atleast 20 lpcd from an
“improved” source within a kilometer
of user's dwelling
– National cost of fetching water is 150
million person days a year costing 10
billion lost production.
WHO guidelines for drinking water
The salient features of our water policy are
AVAILABILITY: The human right to water is limited to personal and domestic uses and foresees a supply for each person
that must be sufficient for these purposes. Likewise, a sufficient number of sanitation facilities has to be available.
According to WHO, reasonable access is defined as availability of at least 20lpcd from improved source within 1 km of
In India annually 75% rural follow this and losses 150 million person days a year, costing 10 billion lost production for
QUALITY: Water has to be safe for consumption and other personal uses, so that it presents no threat to human health.
Sanitation facilities must be hygienically and technically safe to use. To ensure hygiene, access to water for cleansing and
hand washing at critical times is essential. Quality of water is assured only if fundamental notion of treating water quality
and sanitation differently because main contaminants are human and animal waste.
ACCEPTABILITY: Sanitation facilities, in particular, have to be culturally acceptable. This will often require gender-specific
facilities, constructed in a way that ensures privacy and dignity.
ACCESSIBILITY: Water and sanitation services must be accessible to everyone in the household or its vicinity on a
continuous basis. Physical security must not be threatened when accessing facilities.
AFFORDABILITY: The price of sanitation and water services must not compromise the ability to pay for other essential
necessities guaranteed by human rights such as food, housing and health care.
Decentralized Community based solution to Provide clean drinking water and proper
sanitation facility to all
Policy is from bottom to top, it means Decentralized policies. And Decentralization doesn’t simply imply passing on the power
to the Gram Panchayat, it’s soul lies in ensuring that it is shared by each and every individual.
For sustainability of policy, our aim of policy is to develop a “Demand Driven Self Help Model” rather than Supply Driven polic
Our aim is involve the women and the youth.
It is fundamental error to treat water, hygiene and sanitation separately.
The schematic of our proposed solution is:-
Awareness:- To promote the necessity of sanitation and potable drinking water.
Formation of Community Groups:- Groups can be formed from the villagers to involve them in spreading
awareness among the masses along with the planning and maintenance work.
Technical Troubleshooting:- Establishing the technical support center, involvement of eminent technical
institute for technological advancements.
Execution and Maintenance:- Maintenance and Construction of water bodies and treatment units is handled by
Sustainability:- Model should not dependent on state for funds should be demand driven self help model.
● 85 % of drinking water is taken from hand pump/ deep wells which is biologically safe. Nearly half of
hospital beds are occupied by patients affected from water borne diseases. About 2.5 Million cases of
diarrhoea in children are registered every year, and nearly 1.5 Million die due to the same. If hands are
washed properly after defecation and before having a meal, these casualties can be brought down to 80%.
Now this can only be achieved by awareness.
● The heavy metals present in the groundwater that pose a great threat to health aren't visually perceptible.
Hence, convincing the rural population about the hazard isn't that easy and needs proper planning and
● Thus, there is a great need of awareness among the masses regarding handling and usage of groundwater
and hygiene practices, the most basic of them being 'washing hands after defecating'.
● To make them aware, we have to interact with them via NGOs, the students from nearby school and
colleges who can teach them basic sanitation measures.
● A team can be formed from the villagers who can carry forward the awareness
● Hygienic practices should be made an essential part of the primary course curriculum.
Woman representatives, one from
each of the Panchayats will be
responsible for guiding the women
of the villages and spreading
awareness regarding sanitation
In a village of 1000 people a student
body of at least 10 volunteers is
required to promote awareness about
sanitation and hygiene
These bodies will address the local
issues, like number of toilets ,
reservoir and the location for the
same etc. Maintenance and proper
working of the structures will be
ensured by these people.
A village body comprising of
minimum 8 villagers ( Village with
4 will work for sanitation, 4 for
drinking water. This will provide
permanent job to these people.
Construction of water bodies and
Toilets are performed under
MNREGA Scheme and the
Technical Issues are tackled by
Technical problems of these
areas are handled by the
Technical Groups formed at
district level. These groups are
reputed institutes which will
address those local issues.
● Awareness generation
● Responsibility sharing
● Managing Operation
● West Bengal
● Arsenic Filters are designed by the regional technical
● Andhra Pradesh ,Rajasthan ,Gujarat
● Fluoride Filters are designed by the regional technical
● Reservoir Construction
● Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka
● On site analysis will be performed by regional
technical institute, to ensure the sustainability of the
● Eco – San Toilets
● Rajasthan, Assam, Maharshtra, Karnataka.
Planning and execution
Planning should be done at ground level.
Village water communities should be
involved in planning.
First of all identify the problem related to
clean water and sanitation. Is selected
village water adequate or stressed?, types
of water supply whether ground water or
surface water, quality parameters of
available water , availability of proper
sanitation facilities, data on water borne
diseases etc. test for water quality and data
of water borne disease will decide whether
problem is due to non potable water or bad
sanitation facilities or both.
After identifying problem seek
solutions which will be feasible,
economical and acceptable to society.
For example one community has
fluoride problem or absence of
sanitation facilities. Then decide
whether to provide individual fluoride
removal units or public fluoride
removal units. Fluoride removal unit
contains activated alumina filter and
operation of such type of units is
technical. Everyone can not operate
it. So decide to go for community
fluoride treatment unit it will also be
In the same way in case of
sanitation if most of people in
community have sanitation facility
and some don’t, we can’t go for
community toilet. This may be
uneconomical and unacceptable. In
this situation go for individual toilet
to all families. If most of the people
don’t have toilet then go for
community toilet. Separate toilet
for male and female should be
made for acceptability.
Direction of Execution
Planning and execution
Decide the appropriate technological
solution for problem. Involved technical
institutes and students for technical
solution. Technical solution should be
socially acceptable as well as feasible in
that conditions. For example proposal of
flush toilet in water stressed reasons as
Rajasthan, Karnataka,Maharashtra is not
feasible because people don’t have water
to drink from where will they arrange water
for flush. Go for eco-san toilet in that
After planning what is going to be construct
to address problem our concerns come to
For a very rough estimation of funds
required in overall India to address
sanitation problem lets take a
community of 1000 people where
community toilet is planned to be
constructed. Lets construction cost is
1000000 rupees and 100000 villages
lacks in sanitation facilities . This
makes total budget of ten thousands
crores which is not a very big number
at large scale. Also we are loosing
35000 crores due to bad sanitation
facilities. spending money in this area
is investment which will reduce our
health budget in long term.
Labour of MNREGA can be used for
Maintenance of ponds, sanitation
facilities, water treatment units
should be transferred to village
water communities and gram
Direction of Execution
Two models are possible first is supply driven initiative and other is demand driven self help model. If model is only
supply driven or demand driven self help model ,it will not sustain. At initial stage heavy construction of water
bodies, treatment units, sanitation facilities are required so community itself can’t arrange funds and labour.
Initially model should be supply driven with aim of making it demand driven.
Village water community is mechanism through which policy will change from supply driven to demand driven self
Initially government will fund it but after some time they will leave it on community.
For sustainability model should not dependent on state for funds. So some minimum charges should be charged
from each family in community for usage of drinking water and sanitation facilities.
Psychologically also people will not care facilities provide if they are free to them. For sustainability belongingness
to these facilities is necessary from each member of community.
To make it self dependent on funds village water communities will charge some money (30Rs. Per family per
month) which can be decided by maintenance cost of facilities from each family.
For example if in any community water treatment unit is installed to remove arsenic or fluoride, village water
community can charge 30 rupee per family per month. If community have 200 families then total money collected
in one month is 6000 and in one year 48000. this money will be invested in banks.
This money can be used in maintenance purpose or for development of village in other parts.
Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, National Water Policy 2002, 1st April 2002, New Delhi.
Sarkar S, Gupta A, Ghosh D, Maiti K; Community based approach for mitigation of Arsenic problems: Case studies in