Rourkela: Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) got another feather in the cap at the end of the year. It has been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Moving few steps ahead, RMC’s innovative idea to hand over community toilets to the SHGs were applauded by all at a function organised at Udit Nagar High School on Monday, to declare the RMC area as ODF.
Six women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RMC at the event for the operation and maintenance of community toilets.
Addressing the gathering, RMC Commissioner Rashmita Panda said, “Rourkela-Smart City having 40 Wards with a population of 3,20,040 and 69,865 households is now an ODF city. We have constructed a considerable number of community toilets for slum dwellers, 64 such toilets are in place with 620 seats and 53 public toilets with total 251 seats were also constructed at various prominent places.”
The target was to construct 5186 individual household toilets. Out of that, 4290 are fully completed and people are using them. The rest 896 individual household toilets are in the final stage of completion, she added.
She also said that residents of these 896 households are now using community toilets and public toilets. Some of them are also using toilets on sharing basis with their neighbours.
“The crucial mission to make RMC area ODF has been accomplished with utmost support from all the stakeholders, mainly from the citizens, Nigrani Committees and SHG members. With the support of RMC, Nigrani Committee members and SHG members had sensitised the people in their wards, mostly in slum areas through community led total sanitation process (CLTS),” said the Commissioner.
Members of Nigrani Committees and the SHGs supervised the open defecation sites in their respective slums and wards during early morning hours and evening hours on a daily basis. Not only that, they also sensitized people through community meetings, door-to-door visits and made them aware, regarding the negative health and environmental impact caused due to open defecation.
As part of this success, the Commissioner announced that Nigrani Committees will now act as Sanitation Committees. They will monitor the sustainability of ODF status including other sanitation activities and proceed towards ODF+ & ODF++ in the coming days.
The Commissioner appealed all to maintain the status of ODF for further sustainability and to proceed forward to achieve higher tags like ODF+ & ODF++.
“We are really happy that our hard work is being noticed and has got recognition, as we got the responsibility to operate and maintain the community toilet near our area. This is nothing but a bold step by the Municipal Corporation to strengthen woman power,” said Laxmi, president of Brahmani SHG.