Inauguration of Community Toilets at Choudwar town

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Choudwar: An outcome of the concerted effort of various stakeholders to help solve the problem of open defecation in many areas of Choudwar municipality, the first set of Community Toilets (CTs), constructed and commissioned under Project Swachh Samudai, were inaugurated at Ward No. 4, Ward No. 8 and Ward No. 17 in Choudwar today. Coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who held the issue of sanitation very close to his heart, the event also marks the progress in semi-urban area sanitation coverage under Swachh Bharat Mission.
The community toilets were inaugurated by Sj. Prabhat Ranjan Biswal, Hon’ble MLA, Choudwar-Cuttack in the presence of Mr Pranakrushna Jena, Executive Officer, Choudwar Municipality, Mr. Achyut Luitel, Regional Director, Practical Action South Asia, Dr. Birupakshya Dixit, Coordinator, India Program, Practical Action and Mr. Goutam Aryabhushan, Project Manager, Swachh Samudai.
Addressing the media, Mr. Biswal commended the efforts of Practical Action for its contribution towards building a ‘Swachh Choudwar’ and promised all possible support for the future endeavours too.
The community toilets are constructed as primary activities of ‘Swachh Samudai – Healthy Communities Project’, an innovative project, being implemented in the Choudwar Municipality of Odisha with a vision to ensure improved water and sanitation facilities and practices among the community. A comprehensive faecal sludge management (FSM) component is embedded into project to ensure safe disposal of human waste.
The Swachh Samudai Project is a joint initiative of Practical Action, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUDD), Government of Odisha (GOO) and Ruchika Social Service Organisation (RSSO), being funded by H&M Foundation. The project will complement to Swachh Bharat Mission, which aims to make the country open defecation free by 2019.
As a step towards addressing the prevailing poor sanitation facilities within Choudwar town and enabling slum dwellers to improve their health, it is constructing seven low-cost community toilets (six 10 seated toilets and one eight seated toilet) and two cluster toilets (one seven seated toilet and one five seated toilet) in various localities of the city in consultation with HUDD.
The community toilets inaugurated were all ten seated models with five toilets including one for differently abled users, three bathrooms, two urination pits and three hand washing basins both for men and women in two blocks. The toilet also has a bore well with a submersible water pump and dedicated electricity connection, installed next to it to ensure 24×7 water supply. That apart, a Slum Sanitation Committee (SSC) has also been formed for the operation and management of the CT as a part of its community’s capacity building for its sanitation planning agenda. A suitable business plan has been developed to make it a sustainable entity where the users will be charged nominally to meet the recurring costs of maintenance. These toilets will be managed by respective Slum Sanitation Committee with a possible support from the Choudwar Municipality.
The construction of the community toilet is a convergent effort by partners whereby the Choudwar Municipality undertook the responsibility of providing suitable land along with financial and technical support by Practical Action and execution of the by RSSO.
In future, the “Swachh Samudai” project intends to exhibit a successful model of faecal sludge management and improved living condition of people with improved water and sanitation services.

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