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Marked drop in waterborne diseases in many villages

Nagesh Prabhu

Effective implementation of sanitation scheme shows positive results


Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga, Udupi districts are 100 p.c. open defecation free

North Karnataka districts fall short in implementation


— file photo

Backward in sanitation:In north Karnataka districts, which were hit by floods last year, campaign managers have failed to develop a strategy to implement the Total Sanitation Campaign effectively.

BANGALORE: The number of people affected by waterborne diseases has significantly reduced in some of the gram panchayats (GPs) in the State in the last few years on account of effective implementation of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).

A health report of the 230 GPs, which under the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) of the Centre provided effective sanitation, has revealed that the number of people affected by five diseases — cholera, amoebic dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid and jaundice — declined from 4,643 in 2005-06 to 595 in 2009-10. All 230 GPs, most of them located in coastal and Malnad districts, have been declared as open defecation free (ODF) areas.

Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Jagadish Shettar said the number of people affected by waterborne diseases in the GPs was 4,643 in 2005-06, 2,427 in 2007-08, 1,199 in 2008-09 and 595 in 2009-10.

However, a large number of children were affected by waterborne diseases across the State due to poor coverage of individual household latrines (IHHLs). In 230 GPs, 930 children were affected by diseases in 2007-08, 463 in 2008-09 and 214 in 2009-10.

“The reduction will ensure lesser mortality of children, better health conditions for the people which would not only bring down the health expenditure but also ensure better earning capacity and quality of living,” Mr. Shettar said.

ODF status

The State has been making gradual progress to achieve ODF and only three districts (Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga and Udupi) among 30 districts have achieved 100 per cent ODF. Implementation has been dismal in north Karnataka districts and these districts are expected to achieve ODF status by March 2012. The coverage of IHHLs is less than 25 per cent in Tumkur, Raichur, Bijapur and Gulbarga districts, according to sources in the RDPR.

In north Karnataka districts there had been no conscious or visible attempt on the part of campaign managers to develop a strategy to implement the TSC. Unlike in coastal districts, here campaign managers had failed to adopt a “campaign mode”, focusing on people as key actors and agents of change, the officials said.

Awards

Out of the target of 58.7 lakh toilets, 32.04 lakh toilets have been constructed. Similarly, of 5,628 GPs, 845 GPs and four blocks have been given NGP awards. During the current year, 1,066 GPs have applied for NGP awards, sources in the RDPR said.

The State Government has taken many steps to accelerate the progress of implementation of the TSC. A regional communication and capacity development unit has been established in Gulbarga with the support of United Nations Children's Fund to cater to the needs of north Karnataka by positioning consultants.

Below poverty line households have been provided incentives of Rs. 1,500 each for construction of toilets and the State has instituted State awards such as ‘Nairmalya' on a par with the Centre's NGP awards for GPs to accelerate the implementation of TSC. The performance of the school and anganwadi sanitation programme was cent per cent, RDPR sources said.

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