A rapid study on the challenges facing sanitation workers in Indian cities and towns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Title||Health, safety and social security challenges of sanitation workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in India|
|Publication Type||Research Report|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Singh, K, Somani, P|
|Pagination||28 p. : 10 fig., 4 tab.|
|Publisher||Urban Management Centre and WaterAid India|
|Place Published||New Delhi, India|
While sanitation workers already face several health and safety risks, financial challenges and stigma due to the nature of their work and caste-based discrimination, the COVID-19 pandemic has further added to their challenges and vulnerabilities. The Urban Management Centre and WaterAid India jointly conducted a rapid assessment to understand the health, safety and social security challenges faced by sanitation workers in cities/towns across India during the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved telephonic and face-to-face interviews of 95 sanitation workers and 12 urban local body (ULB) officials from 18 cities/towns across 9 States/Union Territories (UTs) of India, conducted between 26 May and 8 June 2020. In addition, a secondary review of government guidelines and advisories, and media reports was undertaken.
Nine different categories of sanitation work were covered: domestic waste collection, street sweeping, cleaning at hospitals/quarantine centres, desludging of sewers/septic tanks and faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) operations, drain cleaning, cleaning of community/public/institutional toilets, waste/ rag picking, waste collection at hospitals/quarantine centres, and dry latrine cleaning.
This report presents findings on the awareness of COVID-19 preventive measures; use of personal protective equipment; hand hygiene practices; medical examination/ testing: impact on working conditions; livelihood and financial implications; insurance coverage; additional challenges faced by female sanitation workers; and COVID-19 related support measures by various agencies. Key recommendations are provided for immediate health and safety measures in the COVID-19 context; social and financial protection measure; and long-term systemic measures.
Includes 7 ref.