All the panchayats of the district have been declared ODF under the Total Sanitation Campaign. ODF Plus action has started in the district. Its main objective is to prepare people mentally to give up the tendency of open defecation. On one hand, positive initiative of ODF is being taken by the government. Of the people who have been provided toilet facilities, 30 to 40 percent of the people are not using it, thereby defeating the objectives of ODF.
toilet falling out of use
Under the Total Sanitation Campaign, toilets were to be provided to three lakh families in the district. In this, toilets are already available to one lakh poor people. Under ODF, toilets were built by giving incentive to two lakh families. But, 30 to 40 percent of the people in this are not using toilets. Some are using it to keep firewood, milk, and some are using it for tying goats. Toilets of many panchayats including Veergaon of Mahishi block have been demolished. People are going to defecate in the open. Many beneficiaries of Navhatta East Panchayat declared ODF are using toilets for storing firewood, dung cakes etc. People are not using toilets even in Sitnabad Dakshin Panchayat declared ODF long ago. The biggest challenge in ODF Plus is to prepare these people mentally to give up the tendency of open defecation.
Under ODF plus people are being mentally prepared under toilets. Along with this, the work of waste disposal will also start soon in the identified Panchayat.
Dr. Sonam Kumari
Coordination District Sanitation Committee, Saharsa.