CLTS Blog posts
The country is ostensibly in the throes of a great social movement for sanitation. Gandhi’s name is evoked, Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads from the front, ministers lift brooms for cameras, and officers, college and school children take oaths against littering and to clean their surroundings. Earlier the PM pledges in his Independence Day speech toilets for girls and boys in all schools.
After a few years researching and working on sanitation, I feel (felt) that I have a good knowledge about the topic, or at least good knowledge of most of it and a clear picture of the areas I should learn more about. Moreover as a shit-worker I –and probably most of us in the sector– have developed a sort of pride or even vanity about being a herald of a neglected cause...
Urban sanitation is becoming an emerging priority in the WASH sector, partly due to the realisation that it has not been given enough attention in the past. For one thing, because the Millennium Development Goals targeted sanitation coverage (people having access to latrines) and cities are doing much better than rural areas in this respect.
Last week’s Water and Health Conference held at the University of North Carolina’s Water Institute had an array of different workshops, side events and oral and poster presentations focusing on sanitation. After only a day into the week-long event two important messages started to emerge. Firstly, the sanitation problem is endemic in certain parts of the world, especially India, and unfortunately we do not know a lot and have an awful lot to learn.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister (PM) of India, launched a Swach Bharat (Clean India) campaign on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Senior government officials, politicians and Bollywood actors were seen holding brooms in their hands cleaning neighbourhoods and getting photographed. The twitterati was abuzz with excitement. The campaign was filled with images and messages. The PM aims to have a Clean India by the time of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019. The campaign is timely but will it be effective.