Solution Exchange Discussions: Sanitation Programme for Anganwadi Centres, from Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jharkhand - Experiences

Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 21 September 2006

Original Query: Meeta Jaruhar, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jharkhand, Posted 30 August 2006

The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jharkhand is implementing the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), of which Sanitation in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) is an important component. As we all know, AWC is a centre where children below 6 years, Anganwadi workers and also sometime members of Mahila Mandal gathers. Therefore, to start appropriate sanitation behaviour we are planning to have toilet facilities in these centres.

I am sure many other States are also implementing these central programmes and would be working on these aspects. We wish to learn from experiences of members regarding enhancement of sanitation in the AWCs and request them to share their experiences on the following:

  • Suggested and tested designs of appropriate toilets with cost estimates, keeping in mind that the toilets will be used by children from age 0 to 5 years and by women.
  • Suggested fund-flow mechanism from state/union governments to the AWCs, especially in a State like Jharkhand where PRIs is yet to be institutionalized.
  • Suggested systems to ensure sustainable management of the sanitation infrastructure built, functional areas that such capacity building should focus on and the stakeholders who should be the target for such capacity building.
  • Learnings (Dos and Don’ts) from experiences of other members in implementation of such Anganwadi Sanitation programmes

Responses received with thanks from:

1. S. Damodaran, WaterPartners International India Liaison Office, Tiruchirappalli (Response 1;Response 2)
2. Arumugam Kalimuthu, WES-Net-India Core Group, c/o Plan International, New Delhi
3. Meeta Jaruhar, Department of Drinking Water and sanitation, Jharkhand
4. Vijay Gawade, UNICEF, Hyderabad
5. S. Paramasivan, Care India, Chennai
6. Ashok Kumar Paikaray, Mahavir Yubak Sangh, Bhubaneswar

Further contributions are welcome!

Summary of Responses

The query asked for inputs for designing child friendly toilets for Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) and members responded by providing experiences in evolving toilet designs. They also shared plan parameters and some designs developed in other parts of the country.

Members discussed various aspects related to designing child-friendly toilets and pointed out to the general misconception that a toilet becomes “child friendly” just by drawing a few cartoons or pictures on the walls. They elaborated that the following are essential elements for any child-friendly toilet design:

  • Need to encourage hygienic practices among children
  • Be well-ventilated, with open spaces, good air circulation and plenty of ventilation
  • Have a small “basin”/pan (water closet) size- ideally 14” size
  • Easily accessible water tap or tank to ensure proper cleaning and washing
  • Simple, easy to reach door latches that can be operated from both sides of the door
  • Low wash basins at a height accessible for children
  • Decorated interiors with good pictures (preferably hygiene related)
  • Piped/hand pump based water supply, ensuring ample water for cleaning and hand washing
  • Regular maintenance of toilet facilities
  • Appropriate location of toilet, not on garbage heaps or near thorny bushes, and in case of elevated toilets, steps of low height

In addition to noting the necessary components for child friendly toilet, respondents shared experiences from three states about the process of designing and using child friendly toilets. In Anantpur District, Andhra Pradesh, a programme decided on the appropriate toilet design after extensive consultations with Anganwadi workers, ayahs and mothers. UNICEF and the district administration contributed jointly for improvement of the AWC premises and for building capacities of the AWC staff. Members reported that this process has resulted in impressive improvement in hygiene and behavioural practices among the children and staff.  In Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, the success of the sanitation program for AWCs was dependant on the support and commitment of teachers in training children. However, not all experiences have resulted in positive outcomes, discussion participants
reported. The child friendly toilets promoted in Khorda District, Orissa turned out to be too expensive, and teachers had to bear part of the cost from their own pocket. Along with specific experiences participants shared designs for child friendly toilets developed with the help of UNICEF and mentioned excellent rural and urban toilet designs developed by NGOs in Tamil Nadu.

Respondents also pointed out that the design of most child friendly toilets make them inappropriate for AWC staff (such as teachers, ayahs and cooks), forcing the staff to resort to open defecation. They suggested one possible option is, building a separate toilet with a regular size pan for the AWC workers and teachers. However, respondents pointed out that the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) budget would not allow for the construction of an additional toilet suitable for women. Another possibility mentioned called for increasing the height of child friendly toilets to six feet and installing a latch, which could open from both sides of the door.

In sum, members agreed that construction of child-friendly toilets was very different from building toilets for adults and a number of additional parameters need bearing in mind to ensure safe and hygienic use by children. If projects evolve toilets design in consultations with all stakeholders, the chances of getting a more usable design increase.

Comparative Experiences

Andhra Pradesh

Model Anganwadis Centres in Anantpur District (from Vijay Gawade, UNICEF, Hyderabad)

To address the inadequate facilities available in a majority of AWCs, in 2005 the district administration decided to change the image of AWCs to encourage and educate children about health and hygiene. With UNICEF’s support, 50 of the 2,316 AWCs in the district were upgraded to “model Anganwadis,” and the district administration contributed space and equipment. The Anganwadi staff also received training to build their capacity.

Read more

Orissa

High Costs of “Child Friendly” Toilets in Khordha District (from Ashok Kumar Paikaray, Mahavir Yubak Sangh,Bhubaneswar)

While promoting 30 school toilets under the TSC, Mahavir Yubak Sangh found numerous toilets were being called “user-friendly and child friendly.” However, construction costs for these models were very high and since the TCS budget was not sufficient, teachers had to bear the extra cost from their own pockets. Moreover, in some other schools, the toilets constructed were not user friendly.

Tamil Nadu

Ecologically Friendly Toilets in Cuddalore District (from S. Paramasivan, Care India, Chennai)

EcoSan toilets have been constructed in schools by the organization BLESS. The teachers are fully convinced and committed to training children to use the toilets. The success of this program is largely due to the support of Anganwadi workers and teachers helping children practice using the toilet.

From Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate

Toilets for ICDS Centres in Kanyakumari District

A pilot programme in a district under TSC, in April 2001 this project set out to construct 390 Anganwadi toilets for children below the age of five at Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centres. The District Project Nutritious Officer is actively involved in mobilizing contributions for the construction and so far, it has constructed 340 toilets. The Block Panchayat is executing the work on this project.

Read more

Self-Help Groups (SHGs) Running Toilets in Thanjavur District

With the help of the District Rural Development Agency, women SHGs are running sanitary complexes successfully training women to use toilets and bathrooms for ablutions and other purposes. Individual toilets are constructed by giving subsidies. Anganwadi toilets and school toilets are constructed to teach children and students to hygienic practices.

For details

International

Vietnam

Hygiene Education in Schools

UNICEF has helped to incorporate hygiene education into the Vietnamese school curriculum and has assisted in installing water supply and sanitation in over 3,400 primary schools and 800 kindergartens and day-care centres around the country. This programme is recognized for employing a child-friendly approach; children generated the latrine designs- making them more likely to suit children’s sizes and preferences, along with fostering better hygiene.

Read more

Related Resources

Recommended Organizations

UNICEF (from Arumugam Kalimuthu, WES-Net-India Core Group, c/o Plan International, New Delhi)
73 Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003; Tel: 24690401/1410; Fax:
24627521/91410; newdelhi@unicef.org;http://www.unicef.org/india/children_1376.htm
Recommended as an organization that has evolved innovative and cost effective designs for Anganwadi sanitation

Gramalaya (from S. Damodaran, WaterPartners International India Liaison Office, Tiruchirappalli)
12, 4 th  Cross, Thillainagar West, Tiruchirappalli 620 018 Tamil Nadu; Tel: 91-431-2761263; Fax: 91-431-
2768436;try_gramalaya@sancharnet.in or gramalaya@hotmail.com
http://www.gramalaya.org
Particularly innovative in using a child-centred approach to implement its health and sanitation programs, and developing child-friendly school and Anganwadi toilets.

Recommended Websites

Sanitation for All (from S. Damodaran, WaterPartners International India Liaison Office, Tiruchirappalli)
http://www.toiletsforall.org/
Displays various models of toilets, which could be used in the Total Sanitation Campaign in rural areas including child friendly toilet design options

Recommended Documentation

Child’s Environment Program (from Vijay Gawade, UNICEF, Hyderabad)
http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/environment/cr/res04090601.zip (Size: 551 KB)
and
http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/environment/cr/res04090602.zip (Size: 673 KB)
Designs of child friendly sanitation facilities constructed in 2005 by UNICEF at 50 anganwadis from Anantpur District in consultation with AW workers, ayahs and mothers

From Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate

Anganwadi Sanitation
Department of Drinking Water Supply, Ministry of Rural Development; 2004
http://ddws.nic.in/tsc-nic/html/anganwadi_sani.htm
Provides strategic points on toilet designs for Anganwadi Centres aiming at behaviour change of the children as well as the mothers attending the Anganwadis

Child-Friendly Hygiene and Sanitation Facilities in Schools: Indispensable to Effective Hygiene Education
By Jaap Zomerplaag and Annemarieke Mooijman; IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and UNICEF; 2005
http://www.schoolsanitation.org/Resources/Readings/child%2002-03.pdf (Size: 1.9 MB)
This booklet provides ten points towards child-friendly hygiene and sanitation facilities in schools

School and Anganwadi Toilet Designs: Norms and Options
Technical Note Series, Department of Drinking Water Supply, Ministry of Rural Development
http://ddws.nic.in/SchToiletDesign.pdf#search=%22%20anganwadi%22 (Size: 1.1 MB)
Paper discusses the goals, norms and issues in covering all AWCs with toilet facilities as identified by the government

School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) in India: Investment in Building Children’s Future
SSHE Global Symposium “Construction is Not Enough,” The Netherlands; June 2004
Click here to view PDF (Size: 475.1 KB)
Traces the evolution, goals and achievements of the SSHE program highlighting in particular the Indian approach

Guidelines on Central Rural Sanitation Program (CRSP)
Total Sanitation Campaign, Department of Drinking Water Supply, Ministry of Rural Development; January 2005
http://ddws.nic.in/Data/CRSP/TSCguidelines.pdf#search=%22sanitation%20anganwadi%22 (Size: 397.3KB)
Guidelines for sanitation facilities with objectives of covering schools/ Anganwadis in rural areas, promoting hygiene education and sanitary habits among students

Total Sanitation Campaign
District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Kanyakumari District
http://www.kanyakumari.tn.nic.in/sanitation.html
Provides an account of the Total Sanitation Campaign as adopted in Kanyakumari, including operations strategy for anganwadi and school toilets

Toolkit on Hygiene Sanitation and Water
http://www.schoolsanitation.org/Why/index.html
Makes available information, resources, and tools that provide support to the preparation and implementation of hygiene, sanitation, and water in schools policies and projects

Towards Total Sanitation and Hygiene: A Challenge for India
Government of India, South Asian Conference on Sanitation, Bangladesh; October 2003
Click here to view PDF (Size: 334.96 KB)
Paper introduces the importance and status of sanitation in India, traces evolution of the sanitation program and sectoral policy reforms, finally outlining the future plan of action

National Honour Sought For Clean Village
The Hindu; December 14, 2003
http://www.hindu.com/2003/12/14/stories/2003121405560500.htm
Article accounts success of Semmipalayam Panchayat in Coimbatore district for completing project works in drinking water, sanitation and other relevant sectors

Thanjavur Moving Towards Total Sanitation
The Hindu; April 7, 2005
http://www.hindu.com/2005/04/07/stories/2005040704950300.htm
Brief on how women SHGs are running sanitary complexes for women, Anganwadi and school toilets for children, constructed to encourage hygiene practices

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Location and Status Anganwadi Centers
http://www.and.nic.in/location-anganwadi.htm
Provides the location and status of 527 Anganwadi Centres, project wise as of February 2005, including abstract of the status of five ICDS projects

Scaling-Up Rural Sanitation in South Asia: Lessons Learned from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan
Click here to view PDF (Size: 1.2 MB)
This regional study draws up policy recommendations for large-scale rural sanitation programs in South Asia

Towards Child-Friendly Latrines in Vietnam
By Julie Banzet; WATERfront, Issue 16; Fall 2003
http://www.schoolsanitation.org/Resources/Readings/Vietnam.pdf (Size: 227 KB)
Provides design points that summarize suggestions made largely by Vietnamese children in grades three to five on toilet designs.

Recommended Contact

Amutha, Project Officer, UNICEF, New Delhi
73 Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003; Tel: 24690401/1410; Fax: 24627521/91410; newdelhi@unicef.org
For details on child friendly Anganwadi sanitation

Responses in Full

S. Damodaran, WaterPartners International India Liaison Office, Tiruchirappalli

Many thanks for your concern regarding the sanitation programme in Anganwadi centres. With regard to toilets for Anganwadi, I would like to share my experiences and thoughts as follows.
1. Under TSC programme, there are allocations for providing sanitation facilities for Anganwadi centres.  The cost per unit allocated is Rs.4,500/- This may vary sometimes in different states.
2. The toilet facilities to be provided in Anganwadi centres should not only be child friendly but also the model should be usable by the women in charge (ayas and cooks) of the Anganwadi centres.  There are incidents where toilet built in the Anganwadis could be used only by children as the toilets built were 3 - 4 feet high, and the staff in charge of the Anganwadi centres were forced resort to open urination/ defecation.
3. In some locations, the toilets built are not really child friendly as these toilets are built either on garbage heaps or near thorny bushes without proper ventilation and are closed completely with tin sheet door.  In due course, such toilets will be neglected and abandoned.
4. There are some good models of child friendly designs built under TSC by NGOs in Tiruchirappalli District of Tamil Nadu.
5. For different child friendly toilet models, the following website may be useful: http://www.toiletsforall.org/

Arumugam Kalimuthu, WES-Net- India Core Group, c/o Plan International, New Delhi

Greetings from Plan International & WES-Net Secretariat! I too agree with Mr. Damodaran that in most cases, the Anganwadi sanitary complex is not child friendly. Also there is a misunderstanding that drawing a few cartoon pictures on the toilet wall will make the toilet “Child friendly”.  A child friendly toilet will contain the following aspects:

  • Size of “Basin / Pan (water closet) should be small (say 20” size)
  • Water tab or tank should be easy to access for cleaning and washing
  • In case the toilet is elevated, the steps should have low height.
  • Door latches should be easily accessible and easy to operate by children
  • Fix wash basin at a lower height
  • Toilet should be well ventilated. Provision for good air circulation is important.
  • Toilet interior can be decorated with good pictures (preferably hygiene related)
  • Ensure enough water for cleaning and hand washing.

UNICEF has evolved innovative and cost effective designs for Anganwadi sanitation.   For more details on child friendly Anganwadi sanitation, members may contact Ms. Amutha, Project Officer, UNICEF, New Delhi.

Meeta Jaruhar, Department of Drinking Water and sanitation, Jharkhand

Thanks for sharing your experiences. The suggested website is indeed enriching. We were also debating on the Anganwadi design that it should not be child friendly alone as there are women users as well. But then another limitation is that the allocated fund (generally varies between 5000- 10,000) from TSC is not sufficient to ensure construction of two units (one each for children and women). We also look forward to further information on the methodologies by which these NGOs in Tamil Nadu ensures/working on maintenance and operation of Anganwadi toilets and how from the State allocated fund for Anganwadi toilets is been channelized to the field.

Vijay Gawade, UNICEF, Hyderabad

UNICEF has supported construction of child friendly sanitation facilities in 50 Anganwadis in Anantpur District during 2005 and I attach some of the designs developed and constructed in Anantpur through a rigorous consultation process with Anganwadi workers, ayahs and mothers. UNICEF contributed about Rs. 7,000-12,000 for these models and the district has contributed for compound walls, pacca access to sanitary complex, toys and play equipment, masonry benches and environmental improvements in Anganwadi premises. UNICEF also supported capacity building of Anganwadi staff. The result is impressive in terms of improving hygiene and behavioural practices among children and the staff.

I hope you will find this interesting. If required, we can send you some more material on this. Please click on following links to see some design files:

http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/environment/cr/res04090601.zip

http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/environment/cr/res04090602.zip

S. Damodaran, WaterPartners International India Liaison Office, Tiruchirappalli

The allotted fund under TSC for construction of toilet facility for Anganwadi is not sufficient to construct two units.  Just by constructing the toilet to the height of 6 feet and by providing a child friendly door with a provision for opening from inside and outside  the toilet, we can ensure that the women staff of Anganwadi centres can also use the toilet facility meant for the children. Since the Anganwadi centre is cleaned by workers in charge of the centre, the toilet facility can be maintained.  Anganwadi centres are also normally provided with water facilities either from the piped water supply system or by a hand pump nearby it.

S. Paramasivan, Care India, Chennai

The smallest pan available is of 14 inches, which is the most suitable one for building child friendly toilets. While I agree with the necessity of good light and friendly environment, it is better not to build the super structure and the door to the full height. Instead, the toilet can be constructed with a curved pathway with the pan arrangement at the end. In case a door is provided, a slit or opening in the door, so that the latch can be operated from both sides. The child friendly toilets constructed by SEVAI in Erode districts for UNICEF program as well as by LEAD for WaterAid program are good examples. In urban areas, toilets constructed by GRAMALAYA, SCOPE and SEVAI are good examples.

It is better to have a separate toilet with regular size pan for the Anganwadi workers and teachers rather than expect them to use the toilet designed for children. The success of the program depends on the support of Anganwadi workers and teachers in making children practice using the toilet. There are some very good examples of such toilets in Cuddalore district, where EcoSan toilets have been constructed in schools by BLESS, and where teachers are fully convinced and committed to train the children in using the toilets.

Ashok Kumar Paikaray, Mahavir Yubak Sangh, Bhubaneswar

I agree with Arumugam. To me also, the big question is- what is child friendly?  Our experience  with TSC  in Khordha district in Orissa in promoting about 30  School Toilets  shows that numerous toilet models were  promoted as being user-friendly and child friendly. However, in these models, the cost of construction was very high, and since the budget was not sufficient, teachers had to bear the extra cost from their own pockets. In some other schools, the toilets constructed were not user friendly.

Many thanks to all who contributed to this query!

If you have further information to share on this topic, please send it to Solution Exchange for WES-Net at se-wes@solutionexchange-un.net.in with the subject heading “Re: [se-wes] Query: Sanitation Programme for Anganwadi Centres, from Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jharkhand (Experiences). Additional Response.”

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