Regional

NE states commit to declaring ODF by Dec

Spl. Correspondent GUWAHATI, NOV 15 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/15/2018 11:13:30 AM IST

Non-Open Defecation Free (ODF) states in the northeast region have committed to declaring themselves as ODF by December 2018 during a regional review meeting of the North Eastern States held in Guwahati on Wednesday.

The workshop comprised discussions on sustaining Open Defecation Free status, solid and liquid waste management (SLWM), and rural water supply. 

Teams from Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim joined the review. Key aspects of sustainability such as geo-tagging, verification of ODF villages, conversion of dysfunctional toilets, IEC expenditure, Swachhagrahi engagement were reviewed.

Speaking on the occasion, ParameswaranIyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation emphasized the importance of the joint effort being made by the Central and State SBM teams towards sustaining gains made under the program so far. 

He spoke about the importance of continued focus on behavior change communication and periodic verifications to ensure that the safe sanitation habits and practices developed over the past few years are sustained in the future as well.

The teams from the Open Defecation Free States of the region spoke about efforts to sustain their ODF status. Sikkim highlighted the solid and liquid waste management initiatives being undertaken in the first ODF State of the country.

Akshay Rout, Director General, Special Projects, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation pointed to the criticality of the sustainability phase of SBM and the necessity for the managers for regular monitoring.

A parallel session was held for the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) at the review meeting. V Radha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, spoke about the need to increase the coverage of household water supply connections by taking up community-managed, low cost schemes.

Other senior officials taking part in the review were Hiranya Borah, Deputy Director General, Samir Kumar, Joint Secretary, and Mission Directors from the participating States.

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