Soak Pits: One Stop Solution for Paharpur
Uttari Noneya and Enarwabhar villages, which were located in Paharpur block in Purbi Champaran District of Bihar, had no proper drainage system. As a result, wastewater was stagnating near the
houses, creating unhygienic conditions and providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To address this issue, it was decided to provide soak pits to individual households in these villages. The primary objective of this intervention was not only to improve the hygiene in these villages but also to use the wastewater for recharging the groundwater. The Block Development Office initiated the project.
“We are happy that the wastewater is not getting stagnated. The construction of soak pit has helped in keeping the house and its vicinity totally neat and clean. Also, water is now available all through the year in hand bores”. —Ganga Manjhi, beneficiary, Uttari Noneya village
The major challenge was to mobilize the community for building awareness on soak pits. To carry out these works, the panchayat and Rural Development Department created awareness among the people by explaining the importance of soak pits for recharging the groundwater, which will help improve the hygiene in the area. In total, 919 and 372 soak pits were constructed in Uttari Noneya and Enarwabhar villages, respectively, during the FY 2017–2019. Each soak pit costs Rs. 8,138 (Rs. 1,239 for wages and Rs. 6,899 for materials).
These soak pits helped the households to keep the surroundings clean and hygienic. The mosquito menace has come down significantly and has resulted in the reduction of waterborne diseases. This has also helped in improving the groundwater level in the nearby areas. The scheme benefitted 1,291 households in these two villages. After seeing the impact of this work, households in nearby panchayats are requesting for implementation of similar scheme.