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Effective SWM systems in all TN villages

12 Dec 2019

Tamil Nadu is among the foremost states in the country to have established solid waste management (SWM) systems with collection, segregation and waste disposal facilities in all its 12,524 village panchayats. The southern state has also engaged 66,025 motivators (Thooimai Kaavalars) for door to door collection of waste, segregation into bio-degradable and non bio-degradable and safe disposal of the same.

According to state officials, initially, as many as 2000 villages that had fulfilled one or more of the specified criteria were identified for implementing the scheme. It was later extended to an additional 7000 villages, providing all of them with infrastructural facilities such as segregation cum storage sheds, street garbage bins, tricycles and pushcarts, etc.

Compost generated from bio-degradable waste is utilised by the village panchayats for tree plantation activity, taken up under MGNREGS and also used for vermin-composting. The balance quantity compost as well as non-biodegradable recyclables is sold, generating additional revenue for the villages. Implementation of SWM projects is periodically monitored during inspection undertaken by district and block level senior officials. Performance of the SWM systems is also regularly monitored by the SWM committees formed in each of the villages while social audit is conducted by the Grama Sabha.

The State which is made up of 31 districts, 12,524 village panchayats, 79,394 habitations and 95.41 lakh rural households was declared open defecation free (ODF) on 15th August, 2018. Plans are in the pipeline to construct individual household toilets or row toilets for those that have had space constraints or limited access to community toilets. Other activities undertaken by the State to ensure ODF sustainability are:

Priority for ODF villages in development programmes: Once a village is declared open defecation free (ODF); it is given priority for implementation of various development programmes, and other interventions such as solid and liquid waste management as a part of its sustainability activities, over other villages. Towards this, sustained engagement of functionaries is ensured with community involvement.

Capacity Building: TN has conducted training for Village Poverty Reduction Committees (VPRCs) as well as panchayat and cluster level federations so they would sensitize the communities on the importance of toilet usage while carrying out regular IPC activities. It has also trained anganwadi workers and village health nurses at block level to take safe sanitation messages to mothers and adolescent girls in villages. Officials from the departments of health, education, social welfare, ICDS and Mahalir Thittam (a socio-economic empowerment programme for women implemented by Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women Ltd.) and officials at village, block and district level are also trained for better understanding of ODF-Sustainability and SLWM activities.

Micro Composting Centres (MCC) in peri-urban village panchayats: Solid waste continues to pose problems in peri-urban village panchayats which have increased per capita waste generation. To address this, Micro Composting Centres (MCC) have been proposed for processing such waste with a decentralized approach. An MCC has facilities for processing waste including waste receiving platform, shredder with conveyor, cubicle tubs for composting, screener, wheel barrow, stabilization area, packing and storing. It requires approximately Rs. 30 lakh per centre. Initially, in 300 Peri-urban / bigger village panchayats, Micro Composting Centres (MCC) will be established during the year 2019-20.

Handbook on Sanitation: This book containing information on ODF plus activities with various sanitation messages is being used as resource material for training of master trainers and through them, motivators. ODF plus parameters include regular availability and usage of toilets, management of solid and liquid waste, cleanliness of water resources, maintenance of public and household toilets and awareness on personal hygiene including MHM (menstrual hygiene management).

IEC for ODF Sustainability: The state has developed various IEC/IPC materials to be displayed in schools, colleges, public spaces and village panchayats. While video clippings to promote toilets usage will be screened at all panchayat level occasions, competitions will be held on a regular basis, even as individuals, schools and institutions will be recognised for their sanitation efforts. Special Gram Sabhas will be held to celebrate ODF declaration day when communities will work towards sustainability.

Systems for preventive & corrective maintenance: Masons have been trained to address defects in toilets and set them right. Further, incinerations have been installed in institutions for disposal of sanitary napkins. Focus will be given to Septage Management and maintenance of toilets.

School/institution sanitation: Separate toilets for boys and girls are in place in all 28,031 primary/middle schools and in 6,916 Government Schools in rural areas. Sanitary workers have been engaged on outsourcing basis through the VPRC, PLF or other outsourcing agencies, who will clean class rooms and school premises. In addition, anganwadi centres, Public Health Centres, community welfare centres, village panchayat service centres, self help group federation buildings and other government office buildings and complexes located in rural areas will be cleaned and maintained by sanitary workers.

[ The Blog was first published on https://sbmgramin.wordpress.com/]

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