4000 people in 832 households in Kappaldoddi Gram Panchayat (GP) of Gudur Mandal have access to Individual Household Latrines (IHHL).
Cooperation, a sense of ownership, and active involvement of the Sarpanch helped Kappaldoddi GP in the Krishna District become open defecation free (ODF) in 2015.
Ambassadors Of Cleanliness
The Sarpanch appointed two people as Swachhata Doots or ambassadors of cleanliness. They would go around the village collecting information and explaining the benefits of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) scheme to people.
A Smart Move
During 2014-2015, the Sarpanch stopped cleaning common spaces where open defecation was excessive. When the place started to emit a foul odour, people complained to the Sarpanch about the stench. He considered the situation as a good opportunity to convey the need for building individual household toilets.
In the beginning, less than 10 members came forward to build toilets. When the families who gave their consent to build toilets started receiving financial aid, others followed. But there were 20 households that were not able to construct a toilet due to lack of space.
Solution To Space Constraints
The Sarpanch did not leave any stone unturned. He got Mandal officials to sanction 13,068 sq.ft. of land on the outskirts of the village. This land, which belonged to the Panchayat, was used by villagers for open defecation. The Deputy Engineer (DE) and Assistant Engineer (AE) designed a sanitary complex with 20 independent toilets under a single roof for the 20 households who were facing a space crunch.
Construction Of A Toilet Complex
Each of these households was given a dedicated toilet in the complex with a lock and key. A hand pump had been installed in front of the complex to ensure continuous water supply to the toilets. The buckets, mugs and other cleaning equipment were provided to the families as a token of appreciation and encouragement. Satisfied with the response, the Sarpanch stated that, “Motivation is required only till people get habituated to toilets. After that, there will be no open defecation”.
Aiding In The Process
The Sarpanch played an important role in collecting applications from households that had pending bills and submitting them to the District Collector. A letter requesting the clearance of funds was also handed over. As a result, the dues were cleared within a month.
A Shoulder To Rely On
Households that could not arrange funds for toilet construction received loans from self-help groups (SHGs). These SHGs were activated by the Sarpanch and the GP team. The loans were repaid by the householders once they received money from the SBM.
The Sarpanch also met carpenters, masons and other members of the construction team. He assured them that their money would be paid as soon as the SBM funds were received. Having found a unique solution to the space crunch, they finally built 240 IHHLs in the village. After reaching the milestone, the Sarpanch now intends to concentrate on waste disposal, drainage systems, and school sanitation.