How This Coastal Odisha Village Has Drastically Reduced Water-Borne Diseases Through Simple Interventions

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How This Coastal Odisha Village Has Drastically Reduced Water-Borne Diseases Through Simple Interventions


Water from ponds and tube wells made secure for intake thru easy and simple to handle answers have lowered water-borne illnesses in coastal Odisha and has enabled village ladies to utilise the stored time extra productively.

Through Rakhi Ghosh*, Puri, Odisha

Soudamini Palai of Ogalpur village in Kanas administrative block of Puri district is worked up that her Five-member circle of relatives now will get enough secure water for consuming, and not using a effort. However, a couple of years in the past issues have been reasonably other. It used to be a strenuous paintings for the ladies of the village to supply blank consuming water to their households.

The groundwater of the village this is lower than 15 km clear of Chilika Lake, a brackish water lagoon, is saline and comprises iron. Makhara, a tributary of Daya River flowing close to Ogalpur, is polluted. Nonetheless, the villagers, particularly the ladies, who’re liable for accumulating water, have been depending on those two assets to fulfill the circle of relatives’s wishes of consuming, cooking and different family functions.

In Suhagpur village, 35-year-old Kuni Pradhan narrated a an identical tale. Ladies and younger ladies of the village persevered the similar exhausting exertions on a daily basis to attract water from the village pond, the one supply for potable water. Villagers used the pond for laundry utensils and garments, and in addition for bathing. Open defecation close to the pond added to the organic contamination, particularly right through rains.

Screw ups and water-borne illnesses

Puri district, with virtually 150 km of beach, is susceptible to cyclones, floods and water logging; therefore epidemics are not unusual. Kanas block is extra susceptible to floods because the block is close to the Chilika coast and is surrounded by way of six tributaries, together with Daya River.

Throughout floods, the river water turns muddy and will get infected. Loss of get entry to to secure consuming water right through and after screw ups leaves all the inhabitants prone to water-borne illnesses like cholera, typhoid, jaundice, dysentery and diarrhea. City waste and sewage tired into rivers added issues for villagers because it carries quite a lot of damaging micro organism.

In October 2013, Cyclone Phailin hit all the coastal belt of Odisha. Nearly all of the villages within the Kanas block have been seriously suffering from water from Chilika and floodwater from the rivers.

The villagers shifted to a close-by cyclone safe haven because the villages lay inundated in floodwater for just about a month. “When the flood water receded, we got here again to our villages to revive our homes and salvage our property,” Soudamini instructed VillageSquare.in. “However essentially the most difficult paintings used to be getting blank water for consuming, cooking and different functions.”

Water tankers may no longer achieve faraway villages and the villagers didn’t get enough consuming water sachets. In order that they introduced water from the river, left it undisturbed for a couple of hours for cast impurities to settle. “We transferred the transparent water within the most sensible to every other container, boiled it and put chlorine pills to make it appropriate for consuming,” recounted Soudamini. Each day ladies spent hours to make polluted river water potable.

Ogalpur villagers didn’t use water from the tube neatly on account of its unhealthy style and scent. Since they have been depending on river water, virtually all of the villagers steadily fell unwell from water-borne illnesses and abdomen illnesses. “Each exchange week a couple of youngsters can be down with diarrhea and most girls would bitch of abdomen ache, pores and skin aliments and hypersensitive reactions,” Amari Samantray of Ogalpur instructed VillageSquare.in. Loss of secure consuming water no longer handiest affected the well being but additionally the training of youngsters.

Treating tube neatly water

Despite the fact that iron isn’t as poisonous as lead or arsenic, it has an uncongenial style and smell and turns purple after a couple of hours. “The salinity and iron content material have been so top that boxes used to retailer groundwater grew to become purple,” Dhani Parida instructed VillageSquare.in. “So we used to attract water from river that used to be once more unsafe for consuming.”

Seeing inclined prerequisites of villagers in getting secure consuming water right through and after screw ups, SOLAR, a non-governmental group (NGO) with give a boost to from Oxfam India put in iron removing vegetation (IRPs) for the prevailing tube wells in Ogalpur. “Because the tube wells additionally get simply infected right through floods, we raised the peak of hand pump above the best flood degree of the world,” Harish Chandra Das, secretary of SOLAR, instructed VillageSquare.in.

The IRP has a capability of two,000 liters and is stuffed 4 instances right through the day to cater to the 800-odd inhabitants of Ogalpur. The motor pump lifts the water into the highest chamber of the IRP and the filtered water is accrued in decrease chambers. The tube neatly water that will get filtered during the IRP is freed from unhealthy scent and style.

Pond to potability

In Suhagpur, the villagers have been dependent at the pond water for consuming and cooking. “The pond water caters to the 1000-odd inhabitants of all the village,” Pradhan instructed VillageSquare.in.



The pond water is made secure for intake thru pond sand filtration devices. (Picture by way of Rakhi Ghosh)
The pond water is made secure for intake thru pond sand filtration devices. (Picture by way of Rakhi Ghosh)

After the cyclone, SOLAR and Oxfam India arrange a flood-proof pond sand filtration (PSF) unit in Suhagpur to give you the villagers with secure consuming water. The tank is split into six chambers containing stone chips, sand and charcoal. Villagers draw the filtered water from the final chamber.

There are 5 IRPs and two PSFs arrange in several villages in Kanas block. “To begin with, we ran the devices with electrical motors, however because of erratic provide of electrical energy we have now hooked up sun pumps now,” mentioned Das.

Sure affects

The group says diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice has lowered greatly when they began consuming filtered water. In Suhagpur, ahead of putting in of PSF, 11 instances of diarrhea have been reported; after putting in the filters, there used to be just one such case reported within the village. In Ogalpur too, there was a drastic drop within the prevalence of water-borne illnesses. This used to be corroborated by way of knowledge accrued by way of the auxiliary nurse midwives (ANM) of 2 panchayats.

With the putting in of IRPs and the PSFs the ladies of those villages have been relieved from the strenuous exertions of purifying the water to make it are compatible for consuming. “Now we gather water from the faucets within the morning and night and use it for consuming, with out any longer purification procedure,” Sarita Parida instructed VillageSquare.in.



The village ladies have extra time for different actions that they used to spend in accumulating water and making it potable. (Picture by way of Rakhi Ghosh)
The village ladies have extra time for different actions that they used to spend in accumulating water and making it potable. (Picture by way of Rakhi Ghosh)

The ladies mentioned that they get extra time for different family paintings and in addition get time to leisure. “The women who used to skip faculty to assist their moms right through wet seasons are actually attending categories frequently,” mentioned Sarita Parida, a mom of 2.

Previous, ladies have been consuming lesser quantity of water because the wiped clean water used to be inadequate for intake of all the circle of relatives and males were given precedence. “Now the water consumption by way of the girls and women of those villages has additionally higher,” Ritima Parida, a tender lady, instructed VillageSquare.in.

As the simple availability of fresh water has lowered the drudgery of the village ladies, they’ve taken up the duty of keeping up the devices. They’ve shaped a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) committee. Each Sunday they blank the tanks and the filters. “Despite the fact that village price range are used for the maintenance of the tank, a nominal price of Rs Five is accrued from every family in opposition to those prices.”

The water is lately getting used for consuming function handiest. The ladies search extra such devices to fulfill cooking necessities, as they nonetheless depend on water from the ponds and rivers. Ladies from neighboring villages come to attract water from those devices because the water is more secure than different assets. “With IRPs and PSFs in our villages, now we have now get entry to to secure consuming water at all times”, mentioned Soudamini, and the opposite ladies agreed in unison.

Rakhi Ghosh is a Bhubaneswar-based journalist.

This newsletter used to be first revealed on VillageSquare.in, a public-interest communications platform fascinated about rural India.

(The evaluations expressed on this submit are the non-public perspectives of the creator. They don’t essentially replicate the perspectives of HuffPost India. Any omissions or mistakes are the creator’s and HuffPost India does no longer suppose any legal responsibility or accountability for them.)



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