Urban Slums Intervention
The project has been devised under the NAMAKKU NAME THITTAM (We, for ourselves) Programme of the Tamilnadu State Government. Apart from intensive health and hygiene education programme with IEC (Information, Education and Communication) components, 25 community latrines were constructed in the selected slums of Tiruchirapalli Corporation. The project area of Gramalaya has been confined to 8 slums in East Boulveward Road from Kalpalayam near Gandhi Market upto East Devadanam near the Cauvery River. Tiruchirapalli City is situated at the heart of Tamil Nadu in South India and was upgraded into a Corporation in 1996
Where peoples unaware of the problems
At the commencement of the project period, a detailed Base line survey was conducted in the eight selected slums in Tiruchirapalli Corporation covering 1133 families. The baseline survey, revealed that the beneficiaries in the target areas are lacked drinking water and sanitation facilities and basic amenities such as the safe shelter for living etc., Absence of good personal hygiene such as handwashing after defecation, using soap or cleaning agents, usage of latrines, food and domestic hygiene are the other major problems which were identified through the survey. Based on the prioritization of problems, success indicators were fixed for a three year phasing period with the project components like providing safe drinking water, construction of community and individual latrines, health and hygiene education among the target communities and formation of community based organizations towards sustainability of the project.
Intervention Strategy through IEC Components Intervention Strategy through IEC Components
A holistic approach towards better health and sanitation was chalked out for imparting improved hygiene practices among the target communities. Hygiene education includes seven components of sanitation for ensuring better quality of life and total environmental sanitation in the project area. Door to door hygiene education through flip charts, flash cards and IEC materials is regularly provided on a systematic approach by the health workers from Gramalaya.
Under the programme, Gramalaya has installed four handpumps, constructed 8 community latrines with child friendly toilet facilities, renovated 4 community latrines in three slums, and constructed 252 household toilets with the help of 42 Women Self-Help Groups formed in the target area. Currently, Gramalaya is working in all the 186 slums in the City corporation limit where WaterAid, UK and Tiruchi City Corporation are supporting as collaborating agencies. In all the 186 slums, AWASH Committees are formed to look after the hygiene and sanitation of the slum areas. In addition to these, Gramalaya in association with WaterPartners International, USA extended credit support to women self-help groups for construction of low-cost household toilets and water connections to individual families. This WaterCredit concept is one of the innovative projects of Gramalaya which is actively supported by WaterPartners International through its India office and Micro-finance institutions like GUARDIAN, Tiruchirappalli.
Empowering the poor urban women Empowering the poor urban women
Wherever, the communal latrines are provided to the communities, the women self-help groups of the respective area through the SHE - Team and AWASH Committees are maintaining as pay and use latrines. The maintenance of the community assets such as the communal toilets provided employment opportunities, managements skills and advocacy works. People from other slums and districts visited the successfully managed community toilets and learnt from the models created by the project beneficiaries. There is a sense of belongings developed among the target people in treating the community assets like their own and working for the maintenance and safe keeping of community assets. Earlier, it was treated as the assets not belonging to them and abandoned by both the concerned authorities and by the local people. Now, the local people care for, protect and maintain community assets created under Gramalaya - WaterAid project. People (especially the women) are able to manage and maintain the community toilets neatly and cleanly. They speak and discuss and find solutions for their own problems at the SHG meetings. The functioning of the SHE Team and AWASH Committees and the participation of the members are very much appreciated. There is a change noticed in the habits on hygienic practices. Thus community participation has played a great role on the success of the project.
The Need for Urban Slums Intervention Programme
The community latrines in the area were totally abandoned by the local residents since there was neither water nor disposal systems. The damaged septic tank and the broken drainage pipes made the local people avoid using local community latrines. The local people defecate in and around the footpaths that lead to the community latrines. The slum dwellers also defecated on the banks of the River Cauvery. Diarrhoea, dysentery and other water-borne diseases prevail in the area due to the absence of both hygiene education and the ignorance of the people about feacal-oral disease transmissions.