Making Sanitation A 'Clean' Habit: Lessons from a School Sanitation Project, is a comprehensive study published by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), that outlines the lessons gleaned from the evaluation of a large sanitation project involving 100 schools, largely Zilla Parishad institutions. The project was implemented in 2003 in four districts, Ahmednagar, Beed, Nagpur and Wardha, in the state of Maharashtra , and the evaluation was conducted four years later in 2007
The need for sanitation facilities is huge in rural India, while the demand for the same is surprisingly low. Top down efforts like constructing toilets through government and donor funding have fared poorly. Even toilets constructed in schools, although 'appreciated' and 'desired' by the respective authorities fail to maintain the standards a few years later.
The project's primary philosophy was to focus on children, so that they can become effective messengers of hygiene and sanitation at an early age itself, and so that they would take these habits home and trigger change within their community. The project provided toilet facilities in all schools, and drinking water systems based on the need. It also promoted tree plantation and organic composting. All schools were provided with motivation, health and hygiene inputs. Community involvement played a key role.
The report highlights the findings of the evaluation of physical, institutional and mobilization components of the project. The study reveals that the efforts were sustained well in some village schools while there was sheer neglect and collapse of local institutions in others. The active and constructive participation of the villagers in the school activity coupled with the involvement of enthusiastic and interested teachers, keen on improving the performance of the school, were two major factors for success, while the absence of these brought about failure. Further, permitting children to maintain the cleanliness of the toilets also helped them to develop hygienic habits and transfer these to their homes.
WOTR is an NGO established in 1993 to undertake holistic and integrated development activities for poverty reduction in resource-fragile and rain-fed areas in India.
For more info, please see here .
(Note: Users will be required to login into the WOTR site, in order to read the document)