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COMBINING ART & WASH SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE WASH INFRASTRUCTURE IN SHEOHAR

2018 - 2022 • The One Drop Foundation

Purpose

The project’s aim was to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services that would be accessible to everyone in the Sheohar district and sustained by local communities, businesses, and governments.

Activities

Like many regions in India, the district of Sheohar faces numerous challenges related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Water contamination and open defecation have made illness common in many villages, and at the district level, almost 14% of children under the age of five were reported as experiencing diarrhea in the two weeks preceding the National Family Health Survey (2015-16). Against this backdrop, the One Drop Foundation collaborated with Water For People to address WASH concerns and to improve living and health conditions for community members in the district. Over the project period (September 2018 – June 2022), Project Sheohar-II reached almost 260,000 people in the district through improved WASH services in communities and behaviour change campaigns.

Over the project’s implementation, Water For People India supported the completion of sanitation infrastructure in 43 schools, reaching 18,183 people. All schools selected for the construction of toilet facilities were in government-owned
buildings.

In addition to the construction of suitable, functional, and child-, gender-, and special needs- friendly toilet blocks in schools, messages related to appropriate toilet usage and handwashing at five critical times have been displayed through wall paintings in each of the schools. Separate blocks of toilets and urinals have been constructed for boys and girls. The girls’ toilet blocks consist of two toilets, two urinals and one
changing room with a waste incinerator. Similarly, the boys’ toilet block includes two toilets and three urinals. One toilet block includes accessibility features for people living with disabilities.

In addition to school-based facilities, households constructed 5377 individual latrines through household sanitation loans and 4800 toiletswere constructed through the facilitation of sanitation marts, farmers groups, SABC, and other awareness generation activities in Sheohar. Toilet complexes were constructed in 2 public health facilities also as part of the project.

SOCIAL ART FOR BEHAVIOUR CHANGE – PERFORMING ARTS, FOLKLORE AND
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES TO ENCOURAGE TOILET USE IN SHEOHAR

The impact of an artistic performance is amplified when it is rooted in local culture and tradition. Building upon centuries of folklore and storytelling traditions, the Sheohar-II project collaborated with local artists to develop a pilot on traditional storytelling. Drawing inspiration from the 450-year-old story of Natua Dayal, these artists created an interactive storytelling performance centered on the behaviour of toilet use among men. This priority group (men or male heads of households) was also involved in the process of selecting the folklore and developing the performance, which generated spaces for meaningful exchanges between artists and community members. The pilot showed promising results related to willingness to adopt the behaviour of toilet use by the priority group.
Also, as part of the project, more than 500 shows were performed by local artists to promote key behaviours including toilet use. True to the spirit of SABC, community participation and involvement was at the core of every performance. All the artists performing at the multidisciplinary and thematic shows were organized and formally registered as theatre groups, which aided them in seeking other engagements and formalizing their membership and operations. Owing to their involvement in SABC interventions in Sheohar 2, several theatre groups were later engaged by the state government and development agencies to continue their work in other projects in the region. Community Led Approaches to Sanitation (CLAS) was an additional pillar of Behaviour Change in the project that reached out at the community as well as the individual level. It was piloted in Sheohar in 5 selected panchayats (administrative units), to support the government efforts to achieve the status of ‘Open Defecation Free’. 220 CLAS activities were completed in more than 207 villages of the district and reached more than 44000 people. Under CLAS activity, Pre-triggering, Triggering, Community meeting, morning and evening follow-up and inter-personal communication (IPC) of household members were done. In parallel, interactive games were developed to maintain healthy WASH-related behaviours beyond the project period. Ludo—a popular board game in India—was adapted for the digital space to encourage and maintain the behaviour
of toilet use among players.

ESTABLISHED SANITATION MARTS OR POINTS OF PURCHASE & ENSURED
ACCESS TO SANITATION LOANS IN SHEOHAR

Under the project, 15 points of purchase were established and kept operational in the project areas, making it easier for people to access the materials required for theconstruction of toilets. The project also improved the access to credit for sanitation purposes through a microfinance institution. Through these initiatives, over
23,000 people have gained access to basic sanitation services.

Images

Image: sheohar4 © Water for People India - yes

Countries of activity

Location of main activity

Objectives

The Sheohar 2 project built on the work done through the Sheohar 1 project (2014-2018) to improve the quality of life through reliable access to drinking water and sanitation. The initiatives were adapted to reflect the region’s current WASH context, and the project further integrated One Drop’s SABC approach to address specific WASH-related behaviours as a means of fostering lasting change. Sheohar 2 also explored innovation with traditional art forms and digital platforms to sustain healthy behaviour change.
The Sheohar 2 project continued the important work that began with Sheohar 1, and benefited from the strong relationships already forged with the region’s communities, local governments, and project partners. Guided by One Drop’s A·B·C for Sustainability™ model and by Water For People’s Everyone Forever approach, the project’s overall goal was to improve quality of life for residents of the Sheohar District through access to reliable drinking water and sanitation.

This project relied on collaborations with local governments, social art partners, community organizations, and private agencies, to increase the use and sustainable management of safe water and sanitation services, in the aim of the sustained adoption of targeted WASH behaviours and of an improved market system for WASH products and services.

Further information

To learn more: https://www.onedrop.org/en/news/thesheohar-2-project-fostering-lasting-change-throughwater-and-art

Contact information

Priya John
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Tania Vachon
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Filter tags

Behaviour change Capacity development Community sanitation Educators Enabling environment and institutional strengthening Gender Gender equality Global Health and hygiene International NGO Intersectionality Latin America & Caribbean Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) North America Operation, maintenance and sustainable services Other funding source or unspecified Political processes and institutional aspects Practitioners Public awareness, advocacy and civil society engagement Renewable energies and climate change Rural Rural areas Schools Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) South Asia Sub-Saharan Africa Toilets or urinals (user interface) Treatment of faecal sludge Treatment of wastewater or greywater Women's rights & representation and empowerment

Attached files

COMBINING ART & WASH SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE WASH INFRASTRUCTURE IN SHEOHAR

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One Drop Foundation
Montréal
Canada


The One Drop Foundation supports initiatives to ensure sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene for communities facing extreme barriers, through innovative partnerships, creativity and the power of art, while contributing to climate action. The One Drop Foundation has developed a WASH systems approach called the A.B.C for Sustainability: the A component works to improve access to safely managed WASH services, the B component to encourage the adoption of healthy behaviours by individuals and communities, and the C component encouraging capital supporting market-based solutions. We focus on supporting access to improved WASH services because we acknowledge that the existing or lack thereof adequate infrastructures, services, and management capacities are not meeting the basic needs of people in households, schools, health centres and other key settings in terms of quality, coverage, affordability, and reliability. This translates into construction or rehabilitation of WASH infrastructure, whether these are latrines (blocks of latrines), hand washing stations, MHM facilities, sewage systems, water canalisations etc. We facilitate the practice of key behaviours through social art interventions over time, because we acknowledge that addressing WASH related behaviours requires co-creating multi-sensory and participatory experiences at individual and collective levels, revisit social norms, raise awareness, cultivate a sense of commitment, and drive (concerted) action. The WASH behaviours namely cover hand washing with soap and water; safe transportation and storage and treatment of water; payment of water tariff; and the construction and systemic use of latrine, etc. We strive to strengthen local economies because we acknowledge that the demand and offer for WASH related products and services are not met due to knowledge, capacities, and resource gaps. Activities related to the C component can be bridge financing loans where subsidies are available; community loans to support co-financing of WASH infrastructure; and technical support and financial capacity building activities for female and youth entrepreneurs, to support revenue generating activities. The projects we finance improve WASH settings in households, heath care facilities, in schools and communities, namely construction of sewage systems, handwashing stations, latrines, toilets, water connections. See our Impact Report here: https://impact2022.onedrop.org/en#approach

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