Push for better hygiene

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  • Published 26.06.13

Global Sanitation Fund, established by UN’s Water Supply and Sanitation Collaboration Council, is set to launch rural sanitation projects in six districts of Bihar from July.

The executing agency, NRMC India Private Ltd., which would oversee the fund’s project named, Promoting Sustainable Sanitation in Rural India, on Tuesday organised a state-level workshop in Patna.

In Bihar, only 40 per cent of the targeted toilets have been constructed so far under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, an initiative of the ministry of drinking water and sanitation.

Lack of toilets and poor sanitation affect the gross domestic product of the state, leading to huge economic loss.

The Global Sanitation Fund has extended a grant of around $13,95,000 through non-government organisations to implement the sanitation projects at 4,305 villages over 823 gram panchayats in 45 blocks of the state by 2015.

NRMC team leader Anand Shekhar said: “The Global Sanitation Fund was established in 2008 to help poor people to access safe sanitation services and adopt good hygiene practices. The fund has selected India as part of its country programme portfolio in 2010 to implement the Promoting Sustainable Sanitation in Rural India project over five years in the selected districts of Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand. The project aims to strengthen the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and its goal to achieve open defecation-free status for all gram panchayats by 2022.”

The project would cover Patna, Banka, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Nalanda and Madhubani. NRMC deputy team leader Vinay Kumar Tiwari said: “After the implementation of the project began in Assam and Jharkhand, the groundwork for the execution of the same started in Bihar in 2012. We would sign a contract with the NGOs within a few days and conduct awareness, demand creation and capacity building programmes in the next couple of months. At the end of the project in 2015, around 79 lakh people residing in rural areas of the state are expected to get access to toilets.”