Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

  • MAHESHNATHAN
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Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Hello SuSanA members,

The Government of India’s policies, programmes and resource allocations demonstrate the political will to ensure inclusive access to WASH facilities in schools. Safe drinking water, better sanitation and hygiene education improve the health of children thereby open opportunities for improved education, increased school attendance, and improved academic performance.

Innovations in sustainable WASH in school, circle around educating children, provision of facilities, ensuring behavioural change and operation and maintenance of available facilities. In India, government, CSR of companies and NGOs uses schools as a focal point in communities to establish a strong awareness in children on the importance of WASH, so that over time, good WASH practices are adopted throughout the community.

Governments and national and international organizations address gaps in access to improved water supply by setting up piped-water systems to schools, extending taps for drinking water, handwashing, and for use in latrines. Sex-segregated, improved latrines and hand-washing facilities with soap on school campuses for both schoolchildren and teachers are essentials in programming. Construction and renovation of disability friendly latrines in schools are undertaken to make the approach more inclusive.

Based on lessons learned in implementing school WASH, support in establishment of school management committees and child cabinets and training them to help maintain and operate school facilities are innovative. Innovation in the design, approach and technologies that are cost effective and sustainable are worth scaling for better results. Low cost peer-facing hand-washing stations at schools, which help reinforce healthy hygiene habits among students is one such example. These peer hand washing stations are prefabricated and are easily transportable.

Schools are also supported and equipped with incinerators for sanitary products, which provide simple, cost-effective waste disposal as well as dignity for girls. Organizations have identified opportunity on Income generation for self-help groups through developing sanitary products and set up vending machines in schools to improve access for girl children. Training men and women on plumbing and as masons are found to be innovative as they provide local manpower at low cost and further add to local level operation and maintenance.

Designing behaviour change frameworks on improving latrine use, maintenance of personal hygiene, waste management and management of menstrual hygiene have contributed to specific innovative approaches to create behavior change. Local governing bodies have close ties with NGOs and partner agencies allowing them to use of PRI funds for operation and maintenance of school WASH facilities as per their recent notification. Pilferage and vandalism being a key issue in maintenance and operation of WASH facilities in School, a few innovations have been tested and tried on the ground which include allowing senior citizens and influential community members to involve in providing security. In addition there are some pilots around collection of monthly costs from parents and well wishers towards regular maintenance and operation of facilities.

In India, World Vision uses schools as a focal point in communities to establish a strong awareness in children on the importance of WASH, so that over time, good WASH practices are adopted throughout the community. World Vision uses a standard operating procedures for implementation of WASH in schools. The Standard Operating Procedures for WASH in Schools steer World Vision India programs towards realizing World Vision's vision of clean water and sanitation for every child. World Vision supports schools in our programming to ensure provision of piped water systems to schools, extending taps for drinking water, hand washing, and for use in latrines. World Vision constructs sex-segregated, improved latrines and hand-washing facilities with soap on school campuses for both schoolchildren and teachers. Construction and renovation of disability friendly latrines in schools makes the approach more inclusive. Based on lessons learned in implementing school WASH, World Vision establishes school management committees and child cabinets in India, and trains them to help maintain school facilities.

I am seeking more examples of innovations in school WASH from you that can initiate this discussion that goes on to look at What Next. Can we find answers from what has already been done? Please send in any innovations you have come across in WinS by the government, companies or NGOs that are worth emulating?

Regards
Mahesh Nathan
World Vision

Mahesh Nathan
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  • johnsonrhenius
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in Wash In Schools

WASH in school is a key package in overall ODF. The challenges in WASH in schools are provision of infrastructure and its maintenance apart from behaviour change. There are certain interventions which Odisha has done in few districts which can be learning for others. This is more of a learning than an innovation.

Sustaining behaviour change through 100 days continuous handwashing with soap before Mid day meal: This is aimed to promote handwashing with soap by various activities in schools before the mid-day meal so that it gets into regular practice of children. The campaign runs for 100 days involving school teacher/HM, SMC, child cabinet, MDM staff and a volunteer.

Aim:
To sustain the practice of HWWS before MDM

Who involved?
• School teachers
• SMC
• Child cabinet members (sanitation committee/hygiene committee) and
• A volunteer (selected by SMC) are involved.

Prerequisites:
• All children does HWWS before MDM and after use of toilet
• Functional group HW station: All these schools to have a functional group Handwashing station in place before start of campaign. alternatively, stagerring the interval to ensure all children handwash and then have meals.
• Availability of water for HWWS and availability of soap
• Monitoring by child cabinet and volunteer

Roles and responsibilities:
• MDM cook cum helper: Ensures that the HW station water tank has adequate water by filling the same manually in Handwashing station which does not have a piped water supply or a common storage tank through piped water
• School teachers: Regulate the lunch interval in batches to ensure that the HW station does not become crowded and that all children does HWWS before MDM. They also ensure that all children does HWWS before MDM and then does HW before having their own meals.
• Child cabinet: The leader and member from the child cabinet (Sanitation or hygiene committee) ensures that all children does HWWS before MDM and follow the steps of HWWS by observing the same from the HW station. Twice in a week they also demonstrate the practice to all school children. After all completes HWWS, they does HWWS and then have their MDM
• Volunteers: Ensures that there is availability of water, soap and that the handwashing station is functional. Also monitors the whole process of HWWS before MDM

Activities:
• Joyful learning before lunch:
Volunteer and child cabinet ensures that before lunch, a demonstration of steps of HWWS before MDM is done. Also games on hygiene behaviours like HWWS before MDM, safe water handling are also done
• 100% HWWS before MDM by school children:
All children does HWWS before MDM and then have the meals. This is being monitored by the school teacher, child cabinet, volunteers and also in few cases by SMC members.
• Monitoring practice:
The number of children who did HWWS before MDM is noted down by volunteers/child cabinet each day.

Learning’s for replication:
Group Handwashing ensured that all children wash hands in ‘groups’, stand facing each other, exchanges positive messages, make ‘eye to eye’ contact and enjoy the process. Making this happen on an every-day basis before Mid-Day Meal in every school of the country, lead to a new ‘social norm’ around handwashing before meals.

This campaign is scalable and can be done through involvement of SMC, Child cabinet and a volunteer/s selected by SMC.

With regards
johnson
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  • nityajacob
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in Wash In Schools

Dear all,

I am sharing an experience from Barmer in Rajasthan, where Cairn India has been working on a school WASH project. This is part of a compilation of sanitation stories by the India Sanitation Coalition and is available at this link .

Regards
Nitya



Children can learn more quickly than adults do things that most adults will not do. That’s why it did not come as a surprise when the children of a secondary school in Chilanadi village, Gadod panchayat, Barmer district, Rajasthan, got together and pleaded with their family members to construct toilets in their houses. By pleading with their elders for toilets, children showed an innocence and perseverance that convinced their parents. They made toilets and started using them for their children’s sake. Now the village has been declared open defecation free (ODF). The idea of making school children the messengers of sanitation is a brain child of the CAI -supported FI IS - team. The team first motivated the children and let them spread awareness about water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) among elders.

The process started in July 2016 when the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) experts from the team of FINISH-RDO organised a session with the primary school children. Over 135 students and 25 teachers participated in the session. The team explained to the children on the importance of AS and how it could improve their health and efficiency.

The students were given information on the importance of construction and usage of toilets and were asked to meet again after seven days. A week later, the team met the students of each class separately and told them about the steps they would be required to take to contribute to the construction and usage of toilets.

Subsequently, the students were asked to lead the FINISH-RDO team to their village on the weekend. The team visited each student’s house and a few other households. The children were asked to speak to their family, especially the eldest members, on the benefits of constructing and using a toilet and not defecating in the open.

It was a very heart-warming scene wherein the children were fervently implored their family members to construct toilets. It yielded the desired impact. The children were quite successful in persuading and motivating their family members and villagers. The family members understood the process and the importance of constructing a toilet and assured their children of constructing a toilet within one week.
The FINISH-RDO team then moved to the next stage. A week later, the team returned to the school to meet children again and motivated them to convince their neighbours to construct toilets and practice WASH. That drive also resulted in similar success. This time the parents contributed as well in motivating the neighbours.

Once the villagers agreed to constructing toilets in their respective houses, the team provided them all information required to access government financial assistance of s , under Swachh Bharat Mission and constructing a good toilet by using the best method at low cost.

The strategy to make children prime messengers of the toilet movement in the desert district came after CAI s first phase of intervention to improve rural Barmer’s sanitation access. In the district’s desert terrain houses and habitations spread far and wide. It is a huge challenge to travel from one house to another house and convince the community. The scarcity of water is another hindrance in the efforts to motivate people to use toilets.

Approaching schools first and using students in the AS campaign helped overcome these hurdles. On the other hand, such a strategy also had the other impact: elders had little options left when their children persuaded them with reasons and solutions. Now not only Chilanadi but all villages in the Gadod panchayat have become ODF. Students have played the primary catalyst in all the villages. The experience of CAIRN in Barmer has demonstrated that School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) can be a very good strategy to push for ODF communities and schools. Such a strategy can be applied everywhere and used as a tool to motivate the community as children are both very efficient carriers and implementers of the message and the best practices of sanitation.
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  • MAHESHNATHAN
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in Wash In Schools

Hand washing with soap at critical times (specifically before meals and after use of latrine) is a major focus of improving WASH in School. A huge investment of resources, time and energy in put in by government and like minded partners in doing this. The dire need is to sustain this behavior on a long run. Improving access and availability of resources like hand washing station, water and soap alone doesn't help to solve the need. Inculcating behavior and setting up specific process (allocating roles and responsibilities) among children and authorities help in to sustain the behavior inculcated. Impressed by the way how you have innovated the process on allocating roles among the key stakeholders contributing to the success to the campaign. Moreover the key essence to the whole campaign is the peer hand wash hands in ‘groups’, stand facing each other, exchanges positive messages, make ‘eye to eye’ contact and thus helping them to enjoy the process. And yes this can be scaled through involvement of school management committees, Child cabinet and a volunteer/s selected by SMC

Mahesh Nathan
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Mr Mahesh Nathan

A well thought, composed article. Some more points to add:
1. India is a such a big country and water conservation is need of the hour. So R.O machines which are fixed all around the country has to be re-looked ( I know it will evince a great protest and furore here, but science as a fact has to be re-looked).

Why is R.O called a ROGUE ( in English as well as in Hindi - has great meaning :)
-These machines are wasting almost 60% of water filled with high concentration of the salinity it has filtered and recharges the ground water, thereby increasing the salinity day by day, rendering that water become useless for years to come
-High maintenance cost and mostly carried out by the company only, so repetitive costs incurred by the schools, even though the donor would have given in good will
-Too pure a water with very low TDS (Total dissolved solids) again a parameter which is not critical in judging water potable or not potable! As these machines do not discriminate between good and the bad salts, it also removes the good salts and essential minerals a body needs to have to build immunity and bone strength. And in due course as the children are deprived of such essentials, their immunity goes for a low and the body succumbs only on tuning with the so called mineral water - (even though it is de-mineralised now!). If it is mineral water, why then they claim to add minerals again? What they remove and what they add can any expert explain?

Checking with many water specialists and doctors, it is basic revelation we found that Zero pathogen and heavy metals and killers like iron, arsenic and fluoride should be removed as these are the ones which cause kidney failure, cancer and fluorosis respectively.

Turbidity should also be removed along with bad odour or colour, as they encourage colonial growth if not removed.

These interesting revelation is what makes our company ( www.watsan.in ) build non-electricity based water purifiers and also region specific contamination removing systems for removal of iron, arsenic and fluoride!

Most of the village schools lack drinking water and it is where high diarrhea death is reported. So we need to re - look if we need really a R.O machine or not, or a simpler system will do the job, cutting costs, maintenance and time.


Again taking a call on toilets, quality is compromised when it comes to mass building of toilets. I would prefer a toilet with bright colours, prints and designs may be so that more users, specially children would love to really get relieved themselves inside! May be add on some sanitary napkin dispenser and incinerator in the girls' toilet, it would surely shoot up the head count of girls coming to schools than dropping out.

I need to point out that NGOs like World Vision India are doing the job more focussed than the Government machinery which needs to think pro-children and not like as if they are doing some charity to school children in villages, and start thinking it is the basic need for nation building. Safe children health through proper water and sanitation system is the need of the hour, and there should not be budget constraints or red-tapism whatsoever in creating such a conducive environment for children to study.
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  • StuSpaTap
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Mahesh Nathan,

I would like to introduce you to the SpaTap portable tap that is making a huge impact on children and adults lives. It can be used as a personal tap or communal tap.

SpaTap is 1st prize winner Water4Africa Standard Bank 2015 & 1st prize winner Australian Humanitarian Supplies Challenge 2017, we are also included in the Elhra Humanitarian Innovation Fund Report Page 19. (2.3.2 The SpaTap) as an Emerging Technology.

Please take a look at our webpage to see how it works:
spatap.com/humanitarian/

Could we please make an appointment to discuss further and I could organise a sample package for you.

If you want a low-cost solution to the handwashing problem, then this is it. We are currently scaling this device across the Pacific region and Kenya.

Best Regards

Stuart
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  • Sumita
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Mahesh,

Look at product from Finland , ekolet.com/

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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Have you indeginised the product in India? We would love to see and collaborate...
Chandra
watsan.in

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  • Sumita
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

We are looking bold pioneers who could take the product across India. India has taboo on dry toilet. If you are keen then good to initiate.
Earlier two consultant tried but they failed in India. If you are confident then i would love to hear. Get in touch by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Sure. My email ID This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let's do it!
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  • DavidAlan
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Hello everybody. A good start to this topic.

As some will know we have built approximately 80 toilet blocks mainly in Tamil Nadu (Cuddalore District). This means circa 35,000 school children now have access to sustainable sanitation facilities. In the broadest of terms we allow 20 urinals for girls and 30 for boys, but only allow one or two UDDTs for defecation. This is because we have found that few children use the toilets for defecation, but all use them for urination. More urinals means no queuing at break time, which is a big issue at many schools I have visited where new toilets have been constructed. As they are UDDTs there is no smell, which the children like, and we collect both the solids and liquids to be used as fertiliser. There are two blocks (boys and girls) and, as you can see in the attached photo, to the right, there is an included room for girls to change sanitary towels and an incinerator facility for safe disposal. The pupils are engaged and motivated to use the facilities and within a very short time we have many requests for family ecosan (UDDT) units in the respective villages. We consider this is an excellent form of family 'pressure' and the best possible outcome.

The attached photo is in Vadalur, Cuddalore, and caters for about 600 girls and was completed about three months ago. We try to make our units bright and colourful so there is a greater desire to use them. The school looks after cleaning and maintenance.

We are starting our first unit in Mumbai (Malvani) once the rains finish. We are also expecting an agreement with Corporation of Chennai regarding slum community sanitation to be announced in the next week, and then we will start looking at facilities within Chennai itself.

We don't build cheap, we don't build pit toilets (ever) and we focus only on UDDTs. Our units are well built, are often of a bespoke design and are constructed to last for thirty years.

I am happy to answer any questions and, if I cannot answer them, our excellent Indian team will be able to.
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Re: Topic 1 - Innovations in WASH In Schools (India Chapter Thematic Discussion)

Dear Sir,
Very exciting to see the results of your great work in Cuddalore and eventually you'll do it in Mumbai. Can you share the connects / contact details of your persons in both Tamilnadu and Mumbai so that we can see if we can collaborate and so things together? Thanks in advance
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