Pause before pushing more people to ODF

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  • satyagrahi
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Re: Pause before pushing more people to ODF

Elisabeth wrote: Rajesh:
Regarding controlled open defecation on Wikipedia: I would first add a paragraph into the existing Wikipedia article on "open defecation". Which existing reference/publication/website/newspaper article could I use? I am not allowed to use this forum as a citation. ;-)

Regards,
Elisabeth


Dear Elisabeth,

The first time i heard the term COD was when Prof. Ajit Seshadri mentioned it on 5th July 2019 in this thread.

I just did a couple of searches and found these 2 sites which have the same diagram on COD:
- www.emersan-compendium.org/en/technologi...lled-open-defecation
- wedc-knowledge.lboro.ac.uk/resources/pos...s_in_emergencies.pdf
with the latter one providing a source: HARVEY, P. A., BAGHRI S. and REED, R. A. 2002. Emergency Sanitation: Assessment and Programme Design. Loughborough, UK: WEDC, Loughborough University

They point to COD's use in emergency situations only and require a person present full-time and with protective clothing.

Their design of COD facilities is thought thru but without examples of its use in the past and i could not find any reference to it post publication.

The first article mentions the most critical area: gender segregation. One could design gender segregation in space (2 facilities) or time (separate timings for each gender).

There needs to be more thought put into the importance of climate in COD. In hot or sunny climate, one could continue this community practice forever. In the rainy season, one would need to adapt more rapid shifting.

And of course, there needs to be some research to help actual operations in terms of how much time is recommended before changing areas, across different conditions. This topic is extremely important as it defines the transition from manual scavenging (and untouchability) and sanitation work (and livelihood).

It is unlikely that we can get one number (like 72 hours) for all situations or a technical description that one can use in the field. It will have to be something implementable thru observation. One could try to use the current local, practice of using cowdung and double the time as a hueristic to start with.

Shanti,
Rajesh
Executive Director
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Pause before pushing more people to ODF

Dear SuSanA Members- Elisabeth, Rajesh
I do mention that the term COD- Controlled Open Defecation,  could be that I had mentioned it on 5th July 2019 in this thread.
But many months before too, I had indicated that during Kerala floods in 2017, local NGO, with Police protection and Youth volunteers support  had made temporary arrangement for doing Open Defecation which has been done in open during flood times, and before the situation was normalised.
 
Similar floods occurred in 2018 also and more organised manner the NGOs had made the same COD- arrangement.
On this occasion the solid sludges were removed and co-composted and safely dealt with. 

Another occurrence to mention-  On the occasion of Maha Kumbh at Prayag ( year ..  ), Allahabad, here too similar type of arrangement ie open defecation was done in cubicles but those boxes were placed in open, the solid sludges were reportedly  removed  and co-composted and safely dealt with. - This was reported in a Report by a Lead Institute- CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
 
However, Members may note that, what I was trying to put forward is that COD mechanism has worked in emergency condition and with some detailed planning can be evolved as the practices for communities to follow with revisions done as deemed fit at various location, times Etc. 

The modified practices can be documented and applied for usage in more regular and more orderly manner for benefit of all.
GoI ie Indian Govtt. has passed strictures that OD would not be practiced and instead  Toilet facilities made and  to be used by all communities. On these guidelines toilets are planned and built for use by communities.

But there have been many problems, for proper toilets newly made to be functional. In these instances, communities are left without any basic facility and face hardship.  In these times of this predicament, communities can be made to follow OD in controlled manner, till situation is normalised. This would prevent communities revert back to OD done as before in dis organised way, causing nuisance in public. 

Members are requested give a thought to these suggestions given by me and offer comments as they feel fine.
The above notings issued in the social and environmental interest of the communities in the respective habitat. 
well wishes,
Prof Ajit Seshadri, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, New Delhi - NGO.
 
 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Pause before pushing more people to ODF

Dear Prof. Sheshadri,
This is in response to your posts related to COD here and in another  thread . You suggest controlled open defecation (COD) as an alternative till every household has access and uses their own toilet or a community sanitation complex. I agree with you here - technically, this looks like a middle ground between open defecation and use of toilets. 

However, given our social structure, such an arrangement will mean that the job of cleaning this shit will fall on the heads of the most marginalised castes from the Dalit community. Also it will likely defer spending on toilets. I therefore fear a large scale adoption will nullify atleast 3 decade long struggle of activists and many manual scavengers themselves . They have fought against an oppressive society and reluctant governments to eradicate the practice and liberate manual scavengers.

I am sure we all agree that the strong legislation have meant nothing and the practice continues even in our metro cities. The community continues to be discriminated against in schools and other social settings. Further, despite the legislation, rehabilitation of manual scavengers hasn't taken place. Money allocated for the purpose has remained unspent for years. (priorities!!)  

Offcourse, one can argue that the workers will use PPE and therefore this will not lead to manual scavenging. However, we all know that PPE are hardly made available to workers. It has also been pointed our earlier that the design of PPE itself needs to be relooked at so that they become more comfortable to use in  hot and humid weather conditions. 

In my humble opinion, we need to be aware of the human toll COD can lead to. I agree that COD will remain a solution in emergency but would not adopt it as an intermediate solution. For the human right perspective in India, OD would be better than COD.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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Re: Pause before pushing more people to ODF

Dear Paresh,

Many thanks for assessing my suggestion on the practice of COD, for the interim period, till the firm arrangements of toilets and or Community Toilet complexes are implemented in communities.

It may be gathered that making of toilets is not a one of task, however it needs to be combined with many other factors, for these toilet facilities to be of service to communities. viz water, power and others.
The compliance to rules and regulations can not be totally rigid.  Till the facilities are forthcoming, a do - able option is needed, so that communities do not face hardship.

It has been expressed well by Ar. Paresh that COD practice, is labour intensive and manual work, is needed for O and M of the spaces. 
However with prudent awareness and training, the adapted  COD practice can be progressed well in a safe and sustainable mode, in these present pandemic times too.

In following this COD practice, the service spaces are kept clean and clear, sludges are re-used and health and hygiene realised well with SDGs and GoI protocols .

With well wishes.
Ajit Seshadri
The Vigyan Vijay Foundation. 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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