Change Story of Patnapalli village on Water and Sanitation

Patnapalli a small village in Ganjam district which was previously divided by caste distinctions. Women of the village used to travel 2 kms into the fields to defecate early in the mornings. They also often spent 2-3 hours a day collecting water for drinking, cleaning and cooking, having to fetch water from bore wells in neighboring villages.

The field supervisor of Gram Vikas visited this village in 2012 after repeated requests from a village Ward Member who was inspired by the WASH structures in a neighboring village. She invested a lot of time in mobilizing the community and made them realize the usefulness of safe and healthy water and sanitation facilities.

Gram Vikasí interventions led to the formation and capacity building of a committee which consists of 12 young men and women from different castes. This committee replaced an existing defunct committee which comprised of older men. Constant trainings on womenís empowerment and leadership has led to an active participation of women within the community.

This committee was instrumental in the provision of access to safe and healthy WASH facilities in Patnapalli. They helped form collectives within the community which ensured 100% inclusion and took ownership of constructing the toilets, bathrooms and water supply systems.The community got together to help a community of 5 Scheduled Tribe families who were washer-men by profession and did not have the financial resources to begin construction. Several members of the village contributed financially towards the construction of their toilets and bathing rooms. Every family in Patnapalli now has 24*7 access to safe and healthy piped drinking water and a twin toilet and bathing room unit.

The community is ecstatic with the newly constructed facilities which has bought a significant decrease in water-borne diseases and infections. Women now have more time on their hands which can be invested in the education of their children and in livelihood pursuits.

The committee has taken several initiatives in the field of access to education, livelihoods and health as well. This activity has also led to rapid demand generation in the neighboring villages where the residents have expressed their own interest.