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2017/ First open defecation free district in Odisha
Deogarh, which became the first open defecation-free (ODF) district in Odisha, has decided to give villages having 100% toilet usage priority in government programmes to keep the cleanliness and sanitation momentum going.
Deogarh had completed providing individual household latrines in all the villages across the district by July end.
Upon achievement the target, the district was declared ODF.
“Despite availability of individual latrines, people are not in the habit of using them. We admit the usage of toilet in the district is somewhere at 70%. We are making constant efforts to increase usage through different activities,” Purna Chandra Pathy, Deogarh District Collector, said.
Mr. Pathy said: “All departmental heads in the district have been directed to make surprise visits to villages once every week to check if people are using the toilets. As a reward for using toilets, the village is linked with all government programmes on a priority basis.”
Prior to 2014, individual household latrine coverage was only 11%, but between 2014 and 2017, 67,067 latrines were constructed in the villages.
After tasting success in providing individual latrines, the district administration is now pushing for washing hands and use of medicated mosquito nets.
Pratap Chandra Mohapatra, Executive Engineer in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, said the district administration was giving priority to piped water supply projects where toilet usage was found to be satisfactory. As many as 70 piped water supply projects would soon be set up in the district.
Usage of toilets largely depends on availability of water.
Tube-wells are being set up in villages. To encourage villagers to carry forward the drive, the district administration has started recognising efforts through different felicitation programmes.