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Total Sanitation Campaign way behind target in Rayagada

Sib Kumar Das


Toilets are still a dream in most rural pockets

Rise in infection due to faecal contamination of drinking water


BERHAMPUR: Tardy progress of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) hints that Rayagada district may have to face epidemic outbreak of water borne diseases for many more years to come.

Recurring outbreaks of water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea during monsoons in Rayagada district are related to lack of hygiene and sanitation.

It has been proved that faecal contamination of drinking water due to outdoor defecation is the root cause behind the rise in infection of these diseases.

But according to sources since past two years Rayagada district was facing paucity of funds for the TSC project as funding had stopped following some allegations of corruption and misappropriation.

According to sources Rs. 1 crore had to be diverted by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) from other sources for the district for the progress of the TSC in Rayagada district.

In 2001-02 only 4.34 per cent of total households in Rayagada district had toilets.

Till 2007, the progress of sanitation campaign was too slow. It got a fillip when the district faced cholera and diarrhoea epidemic in 2007 which claimed over 150 lives. Total number of households having toilets in the district rose to 22.02 per cent in 2007-08 from only 10.22 per cent in the 2006-08.

As per report of Union Rural Development Ministry on the TSC, during 2009-10 households having a toilet rose to 42.15 per cent in Rayagada district.

But toilets are still a dream in most rural pockets of Rayagada district.

The reports on the TSC say present growth rate of the project is only 5.39 per cent in Rayagada district.

The required growth rate per year to achieve cent per cent target of the TSC in Rayagada district would have to be 36.83 per cent. It is quite unachievable in this district which still has remote human habitats that are yet to be connected by roads.

Growth rate

With the current growth rate only 52.84 per cent of target of the TSC would be fulfilled in Rayagada district by March 2012.

If same rate of progress continued all households in Rayagada district would be able to have personal toilets by 2020, says official website on the TSC.

Till then this remote underdeveloped district would continue to suffer from recurrence of large scale outbreaks of water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea.

In most diarrhoea and cholera prone areas of Kashipur, Bisamkatak and Kalyansinghpur blocks of Rayagada district the gullible and ignorant families living in hilly regions people defecate uphill as it remains comparatively dry.

Due to this dangerous unhygienic habit the water streams from which they usually collect drinking water gets contaminated.

It is not only the poor but families Above Poverty Line (APL) are also not having toilet in rural areas of this district. Only 3.17 per cent of the target of TSC has been fulfilled among the APL families in Rayagada district.

It hints that rural and remote areas of this district would continue to face rise of water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea due to lack of sanitation and toilets.

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