Water & Sanitation
Access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities has a critical role to play in the overall health and maintaining the dignity of the people. It is also essential from the disease mitigation and prevention aspect. The water and sanitation programs carried out by the foundation heavily rely on the community participatory model and long-term behavioral change framework. The foundation works on building up water infrastructures including tube wells, bore wells, and piped water connections. Where water isn’t available at all, the foundation works to deliver potable drinking water.
Initiating and raising awareness on water, sanitation, and hygiene practices
In order to tackle the water-borne diseases and improve the overall health parameters of the community, BIPF, in consultation with the community and the Department of Rural Water Supply & Sanitation, Govt. of Odisha has initiated several activities to undertake a 'one-time investment for lifetime solution’ initiative to encourage the use of potable water. Under this initiative, BIPF has installed tube wells, borewells with the overhead tank, and a network of piped water supply for the provision of safe drinking water to villages. Maintenance, repair, renovation, and disinfection of water sources is carried out by employing village-based self-employed mechanics and plumbers. BIPF has also installed water purifiers and water coolers in schools and colleges to provide safe drinking water for students and other people in Choudwar.
Poor sanitation has a serious impact on societal development. Diseases like diarrhea, dengue, malaria, and intestinal worm are caused by open defecation and low personal hygiene. These diseases lead to high infant mortality and malnutrition among children. BIPF is building toilets and promoting ideal sanitation practices of WASH to address these issues.
In the schools located in Choudwar, BIPF has constructed toilets with running water supply for the girl students. BIPF has also built bathing facilities with tube wells in the villages of Therubali GP and Sukinda. There is now a visible reduction in academic drop-outs among girl students and hygiene-related health issues among women. In addition, BIPF organizes awareness programs involving different stakeholders to build toilets in the villages for the prevention of open defecation by adopting Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. These programs are helping in preventing the incidents of water-borne diseases among infants and children.
Driving Behavioral Change
Studies have shown that providing toilets does not guarantee their use nor does it result in improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Therefore, despite the construction of toilets, people living in the rural areas continue to defecate in the open. Open defecation and the fecal-oral route are some of the leading causes of stunted growth among children under five and waterborne diseases like diarrhea, intestinal worm, and other infections among the adults and adolescents.
To increase the reach of the government’s Swachh Bharat Mission, BIPF is investing in awareness-building programs that lead to adopting effective WASH practices. It is also mobilizing communities to achieve open-defecation free (ODF) village status through CLTS. CLTS approach was piloted at Dhanurjaypur G.P of Keonjhar district that covers the villages of Dhanurjaypur, Kuishatikiri, Siadimalia, and Nuarugudi.