Integrated Sanitation and Hygiene Management in Residential Institutes in Medak District  

Ms. Vanitha Kommu and Ms Indira Prakash work in CEE Andhra Pradesh office. Their experience in water and sanitation, natural resource management, nature education and awareness generation has played a key role in this programme. 

Hygiene and Sanitation Facilities in Student Hostels
The Govt of Andhra Pradesh has started a large number of social welfare hostels for stay and studies of children of economically weaker section. At present there are 2356 Social Welfare Hostels (1691 for Boys and 665 for Girls) functioning in the State with a sanctioned strength of 2,36,600 including Ananda Nilayams and Children Homes etc1. Each hostel has one Hostel Welfare Officer (HWO), Cook, Kamati (cleaner) and Watchmen. The sanctioned strength of each hostel is 100. Health care and healthy environment at these hostels is of utmost importance as the children are in a period of physical growth and need an optimum health and nutrition care. However provision of adequate water and sanitation facilities has been a problem due to various reasons like lack of space, water scarcity, inadequate cooperation from local governing bodies, vandalism, no operation and maintenance staff, no funding etc.

These problems occur in schools as well. This means that these studentsare constantly exposed to unhygienic environment during their formative years. A survey among school children in India revealed that about half ofthe ailments are related to unsanitary conditions and lack of personal hygiene. Childhood is the best time for a person to acquire hygiene behavior. However lack of education on Water and Sanitation and the sanitary condition of many rural schools is a major stumbling block to formation of hygiene practices among children. 

An Initiative for Improvement
The Integrated Sanitation and Hygiene Management (ISHM) programme in Residential Institutions (RI) was initiated by the District Administration, Medak with support from UNICEF, considering the general status and importance of these aspects in the hostels. CEE Andhra Pradesh office provided the implementation support in coordination with Medak District Voluntary Agencies Network (MEDVAN).The programme had the following components:
  • Assessment of the status of WATSAN facilities in 230 RIs and development of action plans along with budget estimation.
  • Training residential institution (RI) staff on hygiene, water, sanitationoperation and maintenance (O&M) and conducting educational activities with the students for behavioral changes.
  •  Facilitating the implementation of action plans through UNICEF with concerned line departments
  • Identification of 6 RI in each category to establish model sanitation complexes.
Participatory Survey of Hygiene and Sanitation Facilities in Hostels
Participatory surveys were conducted to identify infrastructural gaps in water and sanitation facilities and behavioral aspects among children pertaining to personal hygiene. The survey was carried out in all 230 hostels while they were closed for summer holidays. 46 Mandal Coordinators (MCs) (working with MEDVAN) having more than one year experience in water and sanitation field were selected and further trained by CEE on the concept on Integrated Sanitation and Hygiene Management in RIs. 

The provision of water and sanitation facilities 
have been inadequate in social welfare hostels 
due to various reasons like lack of space, 
water scarcity, lack of cooperation from local 
governing bodies, vandalism, theft, funding etc.
Out of 230 hostels, 146 were boys’ hostel and 84 were girls’ hostels. In girls RIs women MCs conducted the participatory assessment. Each RI was visited by two MCs, one interacted with the warden while the other interacted with the students. Followed by interactions, the HWOs, students and Mandal Co-ordinators together visited the facilities in RIs. Each assessment took about 3 hrs in each RI. 

Assessment for identifying the issues and facilitating actions
The survey was conducted in a participatory way involving the children and hostel staff (warden, cook, kamati, watchmen etc). While provision of WATSAN infrastructure in the hostels is one main objective, it is also important to understand the child friendly/unfriendly nature of existing facilities or the facilities that are planned to provide. For this reasons children were involved in identifying the issues and needs. This happened in the form of discussions and visits to the facilities with children. Many of these children in hostels are first generation toilet users and hence it is important to make them understand first what are basic facilities required and what kind of improvement is possible. These inputs are provided by MCs to the children during the assessment itself. 

The investigation revealed that the infrastructure facilities for water and sanitation are insufficient and there are several functional problems associated with these like running water inside the bathroom, electrification inside the toilets, repairs of taps, bathrooms, floors, doors, septic tanks, proper ventilation, periodic cleaning of septic tanks etc. 

It was also found that hostels had to depend on water supply from outside sources. So there was a need to provide water facilities/storage tanks where absent or inadequate. A few places required repair of bore well motors and water purifiers for safe drinking water.
Once these gaps were found and findings analyzed, hostel-wise action plans were developed. The overall status and the infrastructure gaps and needs were presented to UNICEF and the District Administration.

District Administration Fills Infrastructure Gaps 

The District Administration responded by following two strategies to address the infrastructural issues. 
  •  It invited local industries to provide the facilities as part of their CSR by adopting the hostels or through monetary contributions.
  • Pooling the fund from the Government Departments, and addressing some of the issues with their help. 
It is important to understand whether 
existing or planned facilities are child  friendly
or not. Trained mandal coorindinators
interacted with children to identify their 
concerns and needs.
As part of CSR contributions an amount of Rs 1.2 crore was collected from industries. The funds were channelized to the respective executing agencies like DE Tribal Welfare, EE Social Welfare, PD Housing etc. for necessary actions. Some industries also came forward and adopted 15 hostels for direct interventions. The concerned departments estimated and shared information about the budget needs for each hostel, which were directly addressed by the industries.

Workshops for Students and Staff on Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Management: In addition to provision of infrastructure, it was also essential to ensure the continued use and maintenance of the provided facilities. Bimonthly awareness workshops were designed and 16 MCs were trained to conduct these, preferably in the evening times or during holidays. Each workshop had a specific theme with a set of activities and games. These were 
Workshop 1: Personal Hygiene 
Workshop II: Hand washing, making soap 
Workshop III: Water and Sanitation 
Workshop IV: Waste management and Operation and Maintenance

Relevant resource material was made available to each MC based on the activities/ games developed in the manual. The workshops were designed interactively and followed by visits to capture the impact among the children.

Review and Monitoring 
CEE monitored 105 hostels (45%) to check the impact of the awareness programmes and provision of facilities. Every month 20 to 25 hostels were visited to
  • Interact with the children to understand their awareness levels and observing the best practices in sanitation and hygiene
  • Interact with Kamaties/cook/watch women etc on changes in operation and maintenance
  • Interact with the HWOs on overall improvement of facilities and management
Besides this, review meetings were organized by CEE at regular intervals to check the progress, provide feedback to MCs and to understand the need to improve, include new aspects etc.

Rank cards 
A rank card system was introduced to help the hostels, MCs and departments understand the progress made in terms of infrastructure provision and sustainable use. Rank cards consisted of baseline information about different aspects like facilities available, usage, facilities maintenance and personal hygiene practices among the children etc. Against these, marks were expected to be given every month based on improvement of the situation. Based on the marks, grading was done as Green (100-80 Marks), Organe (80-60 Marks) and Red (60-10 Marks). Mostly the hotels were found to be in Orange colour.

Bio intensive vegetable gardens 

Keeping in mind the nutrition needs of 
students in welfare hostels, organic 
vegetable gardens were promoted in the 
hostels and schools where land
and other facilities were available
Along with Water, Sanitation and hygiene management, bio intensive vegetable gardens were also promoted in the hotels to provide green, organic food and meet the micro nutrient requirements of growing children.

All 230 hostels were provided with a garden kit to facilitate farming in the hostel premises. The kit contained 13 varieties of vegetable seeds, one spray bottle, vermicompost and neem oil. Children were involved right from the garden initiation stage and they participated actively in watering, weeding, providing fencing, etc. Depending on the various factors like rented hostels, insufficient water supply, heavy rains, no guard against cattle etc gardens could be maintained in 53 hostels.

Best hostel award 
Every month marks on rank card (placed in the hostels) based on the actions taken in addressing infrastructural issues in the hostels, O&M of the facilities and best practices followed by the students (behavioral change) by the MCs and HWO. The hostel with maximum score at end of a year gets the ‘Best Hostel Award’, that includes a Trophy and certificate along with cash prize of Rs 5000/-. This cash award money is planned to be spent for repair of leaking taps, tanks, pipes, etc, purchase of bolts, doors repairs or replacement, electric wiring repairs, window mesh, etc or purchase like storage facilities, toilets cleaning material.

For more information contact: 
CEE Andhra Pradesh
Door No 6-3-348/2
Dwarakapuri Colony, Panjagutta
Hyderabad – 500082
Ph: 040 – 23352596, 65883100
Materials developed under the programme: 
A manual was developed with basic information of each topic with activities for easy understanding of the personal Hygiene, Water, Sanitation and Menstrual hygiene was developed for the mandal coordinators.

Neeru paarishyuddam vyaktigatha parisubratha: Activities based manual is developed on themes ‘personal hygiene, water and sanitation for trainers.
The following existing materials by UNICEF are distributed to hostels:
Take it easy: Hand out on hygiene habits during menstrual cycle developed for girl children and distributed to all girls.
Sharing simple facts: Myths and facts about menstrual cycle and hygiene practices developed for girl child.
Hayeega Arogyamuga: Comic book developed on personal hygiene and sanitation for both boys and girls.

1 Right to Information, sourced at, accessed on 20th November 2010.

All photograph Courtesy: CEE Andhra Pradesh


peeyush sekhsaria said...

I just went through the precipitation data for medak district, it has rainfall staring from from April to November, with April, May, November averaging about 20 - 30 mm. there is a case for exploring roof top rainwater harvesting with storage in tanks and use for daily needs for close to 9 months of the year - I could help with a some numbers if this interests you - thanks

Education for Change said...

Thanks Peeyush,

The programme ended in 2012, however CEE AP office is making efforts with UNICEF to continue the programme.

Rain water harvesting seems to be a good idea and would help in having a permanent/assured solution to the water scarcity. If things work out, we could begin with 4 schools.