Improvised septic tanks to deal with groundwater pollution

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 09:04
Badly constructed, ill-maintained latrines contaminate Namakkal's groundwater
Sewage seeping into the ground from septic tanks has remained a serious concern in Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district for a while. A consortium of government and private organisations got together to develop improvised septic tanks to deal with the crisis. Pit latrines and the ones equipped with septic tanks are the most popular in places where municipal sewerage lines are absent. These tanks and pits need to be de-sludged at regular intervals, failing which groundwater pollution could increase drastically. 
Kishoriyon Ki Zid campaign in Varanasi to ensure toilet in every house
The district administration in the high-profile constituency of Varanasi has launched the Kishoriyon Ki Zid campaign to improve sanitation. The sole focus here is toilet construction. As part of the campaign, girls are encouraged not to celebrate any festivals until they have a latrine at home. The administration has called for all brothers and fathers to gift toilets to the women at home in addition to urging girls to not marry into homes without toilets. 
Corporates and PSUs shy away from Swachh Bharat Kosh
The Swachh Bharat Kosh, set up a couple of years back to mobilise funds for the prime minister’s pet project, Swachh Bharat Mission, is slowly turning barren. Corporates have not been as forthcoming and the fund is down to its last 30 crore now. This may be due to the direct involvement of corporate houses in pledging money from their CSR funds for development projects, including those supporting Swachh Bharat Mission. The private sector has so far contributed a meager Rs 125 crore to the Kosh. 
Community participation behind Maharashtra's sanitation success
Maharashtra has achieved the overall sanitation coverage of 65 percent, and UNICEF's WATSAN expert Yusuf Kabir attributes this improvement to robust community participation. Community engagement is a crucial aspect of bringing about sanitation behaviour change. In Maharashtra, 48 percent households have access to sanitation, against the 39 percent national average. Communities have been actively involved in the planning and implementation of sanitation projects, backed by the three-level monitoring process of the state government.
Coimbatore corporation urges youth to take up solid waste management
Taking up solid waste management projects has been advocated as a viable social entrepreneurship experiment for the youth by the Coimbatore corporation. Youngsters involved in the 'No Dumping' programme focused on waste collection and segregation have been successful in the past and the administration is eager to see more of such groups engaging in waste management. The corporation plans to hold a five-day training workshop to groom interested youth.
This is a roundup of important sanitation-related news published between July 30 and August 5, 2016
Lead image courtesy: SuSanA