Recognizing the importance to the overall achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) Naga Women Hoho, Dimapur (NWHD) organized total sanitation campaign for grassroot level women leaders sponsored by CCDU, PHED, Government of Nagaland. The key participants of TSC were women leaders from WATSAN Committee, village development board and women leaders from the church. The campaign started at Dhansiripar village on July 13, at Diezephe area on July 14, Kuhoboto area on July 16 and the campaign culminated on July 24 at Niuland area under Dimapur district.
Women leaders from 50 villages under Dimapur district attended the program. Throughout the program, Er. K.K Rengma gave detailed introduction of TSC and its goal. He said the objective of Nagaland State TSC program was to make Nagaland a clean state by 2012 (totally free from open defecation).
During the campaign at Kohuboto village on July 16, Er. Mersen, project engineer, rural sector, PHED, Dimapur district highlighted the historical background of sanitation programme and its objectives and approach in India. He said the programme started very late in India where the Central Rural Sanitation Programme was launched in 1986. Despite considerable investment, this approach failed, he added.
He also stated that to motivate and sustain high levels of sanitation coverage as it was based on the erroneous assumption that provision of sanitary facilities would lead to increased coverage and usage. He explained that recognizing the limitation of this approach, the total sanitation Campaign was launched in 1999 and TSC moved away from the infrastructure focused approach of earlier progress and concentrates on promoting behavioral change in other words “A demand driven approach”.
In addition, it includes a fiscal incentive scheme, Nirmal Gram Puraskar, which promotes the role of village council, WATSAN committee and local communities in achieving community-wide Total Sanitation Status. Rural sanitation coverage has received a fillip under the TSC, increasing from just 22 % in 2001 to nearly 57 % in 2008.
Resource person Adi Nakhro, M.A in social work who is a consultant in PHED, Kohima highlighted the seven components of sanitation which included safe handling of drinking water, safe disposal of liquid waste, safe disposal of solid waste, safe disposal of excreta, proper home sanitation, personal hygiene and village sanitation.
She informed the participants the consequences of indiscriminate garbage disposal and the basic principles for solid waste management are the 3R: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Resource person Imsubenla, MA in public health, who is a consultant in PHED, Kohima spoke on the ‘importance of sanitation for good community health’. She explained on excreta related diseases, water related diseases, life cycle of round worm its infections and other health hazards caused due to chemical contamination and highlighted the preventive measures and steps for good health, dignity and development.
NWHD has appealed to all the communities especially to our women folks to play the role of changing the mindset and attitude of the community. The hoho asserted that only through sanitation, people could be free from health hazards and achieve a life of dignity and sustainable livelihood in our society.