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Published on: 08/12/2020

Photo caption: Rural community sanitary complex in Amethi, Rajasthan. Credit: Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Grameen

Across the world 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. World Toilet Day, observed on the 19th of November, aims to inspire action to address the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6. This year's theme -  Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change - highlights the threat of climate change on sanitation systems as well as how sustainable sanitation systems contribute to the fight against climate change. Toilets can be the first step towards sustainable sanitation if they help capture human waste in a safe and dignified setting.

In order to ensure all households, especially those from the marginalised communities, have access to toilets, the  Government of India in the second phase of it's flagship sanitation programme - the Swachh Bharat Mission -  is prioritising construction of Community Sanitary Complexes (CSCs) in rural areas. In this regard, it entrusts the Gram Panchayats or the village councils to decide upon the suitability of location as well as to ensure water availability and long-term operation and maintenance (O&M). Previous experience, however, shows that CSCs are plagued with low usage and poor O&M. 

On the occasion of World Toilet Day 2020, the SuSanA India Chapter along with the India Sanitation Coalition, IRC and WaterAid India organised a webinar on Operation and Maintenance Opportunities in Rural Community Sanitary Complexes. The webinar, along with an online thematic discussion, provided inputs to the task force created to support the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India under Swachh Bharat Mission Phase II, in its endeavour to build at least 75,000 rural CSCs. 

See below a recording of the webinar. The synthesis of the webinar and thematic discussion is available below under Resources.

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