ODF Sustainability Verification Protocol

PROTOCOL FOR VERIFICATION OF ODF SUSTAINABILITY

ODF Environment

The term Open Defecation Free (ODF) is generally defined as “termination of faecal oral transmission”. Following are the tangible indications of an ODF environment:

  1. No sign of Human faeces in the villages/ surroundings
  2. Every   household, community    as   well    as   institutions    are   using    safe technology option for disposal of human faeces
  3. No contamination of soil, ground water, surface water is detected
  4. Human faeces are not accessible to flies, animals or other vectors
  5. No manual handling of fresh excreta is practised
  6. The community could gain freedom from odour and unsightly condition.

Status of ODF in West Bengal

Fourteen of twenty-two districts of West Bengal having rural areas could achieve ODF status by March 2018 and the remaining districts are on a fast track to achieve ODF. In terms of villages and gram panchayats, the figures are 2627 out of 3341 and 33406 out of 42020 respectively.  In terms of coverage, as of date, access to toilets could be provided to 93.68 per cent of the rural households. Considerable number of villages have attained ODF status several months ago.  However, all these data are dynamic and is presented here only to impress upon the necessity of taking up the process of ODF sustainability verification exercise.

ODF Verification and re-verification exercise- the mandate

Ministry of Drinking Water & Semination, Government of India has issued a brisk advisory regarding verification and re-verification of ODF villages to ascertain ODF sustainability.  Following is the paragraph on ODF re-verification in the guidelines issued by the Ministry:

declaration to verify the ODF status.  Thereafter, in order to ensure sustainability of ODF, one more verification may be carried out after around six months of first verification.’

In the state, we follow a completely structured verification process at several level starting from the village and ending with the district, where the final verification of a representative nature is undertaken from the state before declaring a district as ODF. The process   has   substantial scope   of triangulation, although it takes   time   to complete the entire process.

For ODF re-verification, we have decided to take a single layered process and the entire process will be coordinated at the district level. There will be no state level re• verification as such and the state would act on the data obtained from the districts.

What to see during the re-verification process?

  • All households have access to toilets and all members of the households are using the same
  • No one is gaining into the open for defecation
  • All schools, angina centers have appropriate functional toilet facilities to accommodate all students and ensure that no one is going into the open, while in the institution
  • All places of community congregation have appropriate toilet facilities and the community complexes are properly maintained and usable.

What are the places to visit during re-verification?

  1. During   re-verification, the teams will see randomly   selected villages to ascertain that all the previously identified or locally identified so-called OD places and clean and no traces of human faces are seen anywhere
  2. From the randomly selected villages, the teams will further randomly select 10 to 20 households (depending upon the village size) to see whether   the households   have    access, whether   the    toilets   are   functional, properly maintained and used   regularly, whether any member of the household is going   into   the   open   for defecation, whether appropriate hand   washing practices are followed, whether there is unnecessary littering around the house etc.
  3. In the randomly selected villages, also see overall cleanliness of the village and the process of disposal of solid and liquid waste of the village
  4. If there is any specific complaint from any corner whatsoever received at the level of the state, district and down below, all such complaints relating to lack of access to toilets, existence of OD sites etc. will be examined during the re• verification process.  For marking by the State for re-verification of any unit, the state would require a certificate   from   the district that all complaints regarding access, quality   of the facilities and prevalence of OD have been looked into and acted upon.

What will be the verification process?

Certification

The process will be conducted in two stages. First, certification and then verification. At the certification stage, all gram panchayats of the block will certify that all the villages of the gram panchayat are continuing to be ODF: all households have access to toilets, all members of the households are using toilets and no one is going into the open for defecation. They will also certify that all schools and angina centers have functional toilets and used by the students, teachers, workers and children. The certificate will include the component of community sanitary complex where functionality of the complexes will be certified.

The block will compile all certificates received from the gram panchayats and will in turn issue certificate about ODF sustainability in the block as a whole.   For this purpose, the block may take data from the ICDS set up as well as from the school inspectors. It is advisable to have a master data sheet for all the schools and another master data sheet for all the angina centers. Like-wise status of the community sanitary complexes can be ascertained by field verification and data should be kept in a third master datasheet.

Verification

As and when certification process for all villages in a gram panchayat is completed, the re-verification process will start. During this process, 20 percent of the villages in a gram panchayat, 2 percent of the households and all institutions in each of the selected villages will have to be verified through field visit.

The teams for verification

The department is not giving   any specific advisory on the composition of the verification teams.  It is left to the district authority to form the teams with the frontline functionaries   of   associated   line   departments and    the   civil   society organizations as well as community-based organizations.  A team should have ideally 10-12 members and may have to work for three days in a gram panchayat. For this a lumpsum of Rs.3000.00 per gram panchayat may be utilized for providing necessary logistics to the team members.

Methodology:

  1. The team will verify 20% selected villages of each Gram Panchayat.
  2. The villages will be selected through random sampling.
  3. The team will visit 2% households in each village. The households will be selected through random sampling.
  4. The team  will   also visit all the Schools, ICDS   and   community   sanitary complexes (CSC) in the village.
  5. The team will visit erstwhile open defecation sites in the village.
  6. The team will check the toilets to see whether it has been constructed as per the technical   parameters and   identify   all the dysfunctional/ unserviceable toilets.
  7. The team will visit the village areas to see if the surroundings of the village are clean i.e. no piling up of garbage’s in the villages and surroundings.
  8. Team members may conduct a transact   walk in the village covering main intersections within the village and enter into conversations with the different sections of the people   especially elderly   persons, women and children for having an idea on use of sanitation facilities in the community, institutions and households and also for having an idea on their sanitation and hygiene habits.
  9. The team will meet the gram panchayat officials to have an idea if there is any resolution for initiating any penal action against the Open Defecator or person littering the surroundings.
  10. The cost for conducting the survey may be borne out of the district SBM (G) fund under IEC/HRD.
  11. A checklist for Gram Panchayat for verification and format for certificate from GP and Block is enclosed (form III &II).
  12. On completion of the re-verification process, the district will send a formal written request to the state to mark the villages/ gram panchayats/ blocks as sustained ODF in form-I.

Check list for ODF sustainability 2nd time verification

The team members during survey will verify the followings to certify that ODF status is prevailing in the Gram Panchayat.

  1. Household level
    1. All households in the village have toilet facility
    2. All members of the family are using the toilet during need
    3. Child excreta is disposed in toilet
    4. Members of the household wash   their hand   with soap   during critical times.
  2. Institutional level (School & ICDS)
    1. All government run schools in the area have adequate toilet facility
    2. All government run schools in the area have separate toilet facility for girls’ and boys’ students.
    3. All government run ICDS centers   in the area have adequate toilet facility
  3. Community Level
    1. All community sanitary complexes in the area have provisions for running water supply
    2. All community sanitary complexes in the area are operational and having provisions for operation & maintenance system.

Format for submission of 2nd level ODF sustainability verification report to the State (Official letter head of the District Magistrate only to be used)

This to certify that   ODF status has been   sustaining in ———- no Gram Panchayats in the district at all level i.e.  Individual, Institutional (school & angina center) and community (CSC) level as per the ODF sustainability 2nd time verification protocol checklist.

Therefore, ———— no Gram Panchayats in the district may be marked as ‘sustained ODF’ in the IMIS of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Government of India.

The name of the Gram Panchayats to be marked as ‘sustained ODF’ in the IMIS, MDWS duly signed by undersigned is enclosed for ready reference.

 

Signature with seal Name of the Officer Date

Format for submission of 2nd level ODF sustainability verification report to the State (Official letter head of the Block Development Officer only to be used)

This to certify that ODF status has been sustaining in ———- no Gram Panchayats in the block at all level i.e.  Individual, Institutional (school & angina center) and community (CSC) level as per the ODF sustainability 2nd time verification protocol checklist.

Therefore, ———— no Gram Panchayats in the district may be marked as ‘sustained ODF’ in the IMIS of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Government of India.

The name of the Gram Panchayats to be marked as ‘sustained ODF’ in the IMIS, MDWS duly signed by undersigned is enclosed for ready reference.

Signature with seal Name of the Officer Date

Format for submission of 2nd level ODF sustainability verification report to the State (Official letter head of the Gram Panchayat Pradhan only to be used)

This to certify that ODF status has been sustaining in all Sansads under——— Gram   Panchayat   at all   level   i.e.   Individual, Institutional (school    & angina center) and community (CSC) level as per the ODF sustainability 2nd time verification protocol checklist.

Therefore, the Gram Panchayat may be marked as ‘sustained ODF’ in the IMIS of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Government of India.

The name   of the sands   under the Gram Panchayat to be marked as ‘sustained ODF’ in the IMIS, MDWS duly signed by undersigned is enclosed for ready reference.

Signature with seal Name of the GP Official Date

 

Signature with seal Name of Pradhan Date

Subhrapratim De is a Data Entry Operator (DEO/VLE) under MGNREGA Scheme. He is working at the ground level (Gram Panchayat) since 2008 in West Bengal. He has strong background knowledge of computer system, network and operating system. He has knowledge of programming and databases too. Lastly he is a part time blogger.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      DEO West Bengal