ODF+, ODF++ and Sustainability of Sanitation: Thematic Discussion Series Synthesis

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The clock is counting down to 2nd October 2019, the Government of India’s date to eradicate open defecation. It is quickly becoming clear the Government is looking at how to consolidate gains made in the past few years on sanitation and not being undone by slippages. As the mission has progressed, the sanitation coverage of rural India has increased to 94.73% and 19 states and UTS, 432 districts and 422,650 villages have been declared as open defecation-free (ODF). Still, there is need to construct as many 148 million toilets in one year (SBM MIS, 2018). However, as pluses (by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) and Ss (by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation) are added to ODF, marking progression in thought, notions of what should happen after India achieves ODF appear to diverge, reflecting ground realities.

The purpose of this discussion is to unpack certain aspects of the post-ODF situation that are common to rural and urban areas. This is to develop a common understanding of these concepts. Some issues to be considered are how to deal with defunct toilets, linking WASH with health and education, sustaining behaviour change in villages and strengthening systems.

Date: 9 November 2018