The project aimed to address the disturbing reality that less than 4% of rural households in India have the basic facilities of safe drinking water and toilets. In Seethapuram tribal colony, Tamil Nadu, there were 20 families living without these basic needs.
In Tamil Nadu more than 18% of children below the age of four die due to the common illnesses often linked with poor sanitary conditions such as diarrhoea, sickness, worms, and skin infections. Open defecation is very common and is one of the major problems in this particular area.
Furthermore, the Panchayath (local council) only supplied water for one to two hours daily via three taps in the village. Even then it was only available when there was electricity; the community often experienced regular power outages. When the water was accessible it was of poor quality.
In October 2012, work began in Seethapuram tribal colony on a communal toilet and bath house and pumped water supply project, implemented by Just a Drop and local partner El Shaddai Ministries Trust and sponsored by Hayes & Jarvis. The project will benefit 170 community members, 200 children attending the school and seven members of school staff.
The project’s main aim was to provide water and sanitation facilities to improve the health and well-being of Seethapuram tribal colony. The project has provided two male and two female bathing and toilet cubicles, along with a new bore-hole and solar power submersible pump, with a 500 litre storage tank to supply the toilets and a 1,000 litre storage tank to provide a general water supply.
Implementation and Operation
The Panchayath leader Mr. Sivakumar purchased and donated the land for the site of the project. The village contributed to the project by carrying the water for construction, curing the plastering work and volunteering as night watchmen at the site.
The cleaning and maintenance of the toilet blocks will be carried out by a women’s Self Help Group in the village. Any minor repairs and the cleaning of the septic tanks will be the responsibility of the Panchayath. El Shaddai Ministries staff will continue to monitor the site in order to give necessary suggestions and feedback. The local health centre staff will also visit once a month to conduct awareness and advice meetings. A water user committee has been established to keep a record of the health statistics in the project area. This will allow the colony to monitor the health impact of the project and discuss any issues arising.
The project achieved the following goals:
- Provision of adequate and safe sanitation facilities
- Provision of sufficient and clean drinking water for the community
- Reduction of pollution in the village
- Equipping the community members with practical skills through active involvement in management of the project
- At the time of baseline survey only 30% of people were aware about sanitation and safe water; now all 100% of community members are aware
- Reduction in worm infestation from 20% to 5%
- Reduction in skin infections from 10% to 6%
- Reduction in malaria and diarrhoea from 89% to 21%
- Increase in pupil attendance from 65% to 95%
- Increase in available time for income related activities from 50% to 90%
“Before when I went out for toilet I was scared about poisonous insects; when there is no water coming from the pipe I used to go to a far place to get the water. Now I am very happy because me and my family are free from disease. I don’t go to far places to get water. I thank El Shaddai Ministries, Just a Drop and Hayes & Jarvis.”
“Due to open defecation my daughter had fever frequently. We used to spend all our income for my daughter’s health. Now my daughter is healthy I spend my income on other needs.”
“I don’t go to school most of the time because I fall ill frequently. I always take my mother for open defecation. Now I go every day and am not scared of going to the toilet, thank you.”
On behalf of the community Just a Drop would like to thank Hayes & Jarvis for the successful completion of the project.
Date of Project: May 2013