Declining trend in number of dry latrine and manual scavengers in Ferozabad
Habib never went to school. He got married while still in his teens, he is now father of 5 children. He lives in Moulana Azad Nagar (Street No. 11) and work as daily wage labour. He is the only earning member of his family and this economic constraint is not allowing him to send his children to schools.
During the baseline survey, in August 2007, he informed that he has constructed dry latrine at home. He used to pay Rs. 20-30 per month to a manual scavenger who cleans it daily. The Community Sanitation Mobilizer (under USHA Project) of the area, along with other influential members of the community informed him about the dangers of having dry latrine at home. He explained in details about the benefit he and his children can have and also how he can save money by converting the dry latrine into pit latrines. It didn’t take long for him to understand the importance of pit latrine but the question of funds remain crucial. He promised that within 2-3 months he will save enough to convert the dry latrine. He kept his promise. Today, he is proud owner of a pit latrine and is not employing other human being to carry nigh-soil on her head.UNICEF has launched Urban Sanitation interventions under USHA (Urban Sanitation & Hygiene Action) Project with the aim to bring hygiene and sanitation in urban poor areas. The water and sanitation situation in these areas, mostly slums, are in worst possible conditions. The poor residing in these areas are vulnerable to health risks as a consequence of living in a degraded environment, inaccessibility to health care, irregular employment, widespread illiteracy and lack of negotiating capacity to demand better services. Access to safe water and sanitary means of excreta disposal are basic human rights and form an indispensable component of primary health care. Provision of adequate sanitation services and safe water supply represents an effective health intervention that reduces the mortality caused by diarrhoeal disease
One of the key objectives of the USHA project was to create awareness and motivate people to convert their dry latrines into safe pit latrines. For the purpose, team of Community Sanitation Mobilizers, along with the Community Based Organisations (CBOs) started intensive house to house contact with all the families. Their efforts are now bringing good results. In Ferozabad, the team has managed to bring the number of dry latrines to 998, from 1089, within four months. This has also helped in reducing the number of manual scavengers in the area.