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12% of the world's population uses 85% of its water and none of the 12% lives in developing countries. An unfortunate reality of life in rural India – and even in parts of urban India – is that few people have access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. In Odisha, a state plagued by malnutrition, cholera and diarrhoea, very few households have tap water at home and the rest have to depend on a tube well or hand-pump. Water apart, sanitation is another serious issue, over 80% of the people in Odisha defecate in the open. This grave reality has compelled BIPF to adopt water & sanitation as one of its key focus areas with a view to reduce deaths from preventive causes.

Major Interventions

BIPF's overall strategy for water and sanitation is improved hygiene practices as the mainstay of the programme supported by improved sanitation and safe water supplies. The strategy is to stimulate bottom-up participation. This is implemented through organized village communities by creating awareness on positive hygiene practices & sanitation, which range from washing hands, to simple covering of faeces, or cleaning the drainage to clear the stagnant water. Community participation and collaboration is central to this approach. Towards this, behaviour change communication (BCC) activities are carried out through awareness camps, group meetings/discussion and group activity such as village cleanliness drives

In addition to this we have annual programs for clean water supply system installation. In all our districts of operation, through rural development programmes in Odisha, we have marked a 10 km radius covering approximately 100 villages per district. Villages are then adopted in a planned sequence and provide complete water solutions where the behaviour change communication (BCC) if followed up with bore wells, overhead tanks with connecting pipes and taps to several common junctions within the village to achieve the desired hygiene/sanitation impact. Social mobilization precedes the initiation of construction of water and sanitation facilities.

Credits: Eden