KAKINADA: Many people have started using Individual Sanitary Lavatories (ISLs), but, in few villages, only women have started using it while the men are using the fields, canal bunds or other open places in the villages. Such conditions have been prevailing even in villages which have been declared as Open Defection Free. According to sources, as many as 774 villages have been declared as ODF in East Godavari.
Recently, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) conducted a survey on the usage of ISLs in 28 ODF villages in the district. The survey revealed that many of the ISLs are being used as washrooms. When the survey teams visited the villages, they found that many ISLs are being used for everything other than the intended purpose. “We are creating awareness among the people in such villages. All villagers should make use of this facility as if they defecate in the open, it will pose a major health issue to others. We are exhibiting the benefits of the usage of ISLs and adverse impacts of its non usage through projectors with the support of the Central government,” said DRDA Project Director S. Mallibabu.
However, he added that over 70 per cent of the populace is aware of the benefits of the usage of ISLs, according to the survey. Meanwhile, men are not keen on using ISLs. They are not able to get over their traditional ways. When the officials visited tribal villages or some of the rural villages, the men told them that they have plenty of open place for defecation.
“We paid attention on the construction of ISLs in the district. Now, we are paying attention on achieving ODF in all villages,” said the Superintendent Engineer of Rural Water Scheme (RWS) M. Rajeswara Rao. “Most of the open defecation has reduced drastically and we should create awareness among remaining villages using different ways,” added the Superintendent Engineer of Rural Water Scheme. Meanwhile, some of the villages are imposing fine of Rs 500 for non usage of Individual Sanitary Lavotaries while some are forming monitoring teams for maintaining ODF in the villages.