Sector Wide Approach to Strengthening Health ( SWASTH )

Bihar Technical Assistance Support Team (BTAST)
Government of Bihar initiative supported by Department for International Development, UK


Buxar villages celebrate becoming Open Defecation Free

The ward eight of Ahrauli Panchayat and Mungraul, and Desarbujurg villages of Umarpur Panchayat in Buxar district of Bihar announce the achievement of their Open Defecation Free status.

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October, which marks the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Ward eight of Ahrauli Panchayat and Mungraul, and Desarbujurg villages of Umarpur Panchayat in Buxar district of Bihar announced the achievement of their Open defecation Free (ODF) status.

Talking on the occasion, the district magistrate of Buxar, Raman Kumar, thanked the local communities for working together to make their villages ODF. The members of District Water Sanitation Committees (DWSCs), including Executive Engineer, Sub-Divisional Officer, District Coordinator, Bihar Technical Assistance Support Team (BTAST) and Action for Empowerment of Community (ACE), were also present on the occasion.

During the ceremony, people of both Panchayats took a pledge to stop open defecation.  People are taking a keen interest in following the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, which involves conducting exercises like walk of shame, calculation of faeces, making of F-diagram, and thereafter constructing and using their own toilets.

BTAST has been championing the hard-hitting CLTS approach to educate villagers about the ills of open defecation.   In Ahrauli and Umarpur, sensitising the local communities through this approach has led to a very quick realisation of the ills of open defecation and a marked change in behaviour has been noticed.   Villages in these Panchayats now have no visible signs of open defecation as households use toilets only.

Talking about the role played by the local Panchayats in promoting appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene behaviour, BTAST representative Sunil Upadhyaya thanked the people of both Panchayats for their efforts.

However, there is unfinished work as many of these kuccha toilets now need to be made into permanent pucca structures. Brij Kishor Upadhyaya and Vijay Paswan, the Mukhiyas (village headmen) of Ahrauli and Umarpur Panchayats, have pledged to complete the unfinished work and declare their Panchayats ODF  with sustainable Individual Household Latrines (IHHL).

The Buxar district administration has sanctioned funds to construct pucca toilets in every household and District Magistrate Raman Kumar is taking a keen interest in the initiative. To encourage behaviour change and improve sanitation standards amongst its people, the Bihar government provides an incentive of  Rs 12,000 per household to help with the costs of toilet construction within the household premises.

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