Covid 19 - One Year After - Lessons Not Implemented (India)


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  • Depinder Kapur is currently Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.
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Covid 19 - One Year After - Lessons Not Implemented (India)

Within a month of the Covid 19 pandemic, in April 2020, there was a flurry of webinars and talks - with one particular theme : Post Covid Cities and Agenda for Development !! Experts were talking as if the things will be normal in a matter of a few weeks. Migrants crisis, health and sanitation infrastructure and systems, was never even discussed in the first 3 months. Himalayas being visible and blue skies, cycling, air quality...........this was all that was discussed.

As the second wave of Covid 19 hits India with devastating consequences, we are witness to not just administrative and governance failure but also a major failure of our national research institutions and academia to meaningfully respond to the crisis. In this situation  #SCBP  along with  #AIILSG  had taken up a documentation of the sanitation response of Indian cities to Covid 19, using the  #RUSR  Framework. To assess the long term response of Indian cities to any crisis in future, not just Covid 19. This was done under the  SCBP  program of  NIUA  with a grant from  #BMGF .

The Resilient Urban Sanitation Response Framework : the  #RUSR  framework was developed in 2020, from the Covid 19 response documentation by Indian cities. "Systemic Effectiveness" was the highest step/response of a 3 ladder of interventions recommended. The first two being Timeliness of Response and Appropriateness of Response.

Sadly the few recommendations made, were never taken up and acted upon. 
* Strategic Deployment of sanitation workers in different areas done, as with the Health sector medics and doctors
* Roasters of all sanitation employees, Materials and resources – updated and available for easy access at ULBs and State Level for any emergency response including buying PPEs.
*  Long term infrastructure improvement priorities identified
* Workers Health and Safety, Life Insurance institutionalised.

Report using the RUSR framework :
Depinder Kapur is Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment. He has taight at Shiv Nadar University and has lead the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) of National Institute of Urban Affairs. His professional engagements have been with AKRSP(Program Officer Forestry), SPWD(Sr. Program Officer), CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator) and as an independent consultant.

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