State Level Workshop on
Sanitation in Urban Areas in Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme

Lack of adequate sanitation poses one of the greatest barriers for Tamil Nadu in achieving its full development potential, and ensuring good public health outcomes for the State’s citizens.

  • One in every six urban households (16 per cent) practices open defecation, and 9 per cent households are dependent on public/ community toilets.
  • About 27 per cent households are connected to under-ground drainage (UGD) or sewer systems. These sewer systems are mostly located in large cities, and are often difficult to scale up because of high capital costs.
  • About 38 per cent of the household toilets are connected to septic tanks, and 7 per cent are improved pit latrines (45 per cent on-site systems), but these are not constructed or cleaned regularly, and untreated fecal matter from these systems is often let out into the open posing a major health hazard.
  • Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and institutions responsible for ensuring sanitation infrastructure and services delivery lack capacities to manage the full cycle of sanitation—from safe containment in toilets, safe conveyance, to disposal/re-use after treatment.
  • Citizens, community groups, informal and private sector stakeholders also need to be mobilised to play an active role in improving the full cycle of sanitation.
  • The Govt. of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) has been a pioneer in recognising and responding to the above problems.   The Chief Minister has announced the TN Sanitation Mission to address sanitation in the coming years. The “Namma Toilet” (“Our own Toilet”) scheme was implemented by the State, and Septage Management Operative Guidelines were issued in September 2014.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting the GoTN in improving urban sanitation by helping set up a Technical Support Unit (TSU) within the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department  (MAWS).

The TSU will help the State Govt. and cities in making improvements along the entire urban sanitation chain in their planning, implementation and monitoring  processes. Some innovations and pilots will be implemented in two model cities.

The TSU will have specialists from various disciplines including engineering; policy and planning, capacity building and training, enterprise development, behaviour change and communications, social and community mobilization, etc.

A consortium of organisations led by Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), and comprising Gramalaya, Keystone Foundation and CDD Society are to be commissioned to implement the program via TSUs at the state and city levels.

The first phase of the program will be for two years (Nov 2015-Oct 2017).

Please contact tnussp@iihs.ac.in for further information.

Note: All figures related to household arrangements for urban sanitation are from Census, 2011

We are hiring for the programme.