- Program description: Providing WSH infrastructure to the excluded and achieving total sanitation will not be sustained unless a number of key supporting conditions like awareness creation, behavior improvement, facilitation of low cost WSH facilities etc.are met. Access to affordable and appropriate low cost sanitary hardware, supplies and solutions is at the heart of a successful WASH Program.
- A sanitation system does not solely refer to toilets. Toilets are only one element in an entire sanitation system. Other elements such as collection, transport, treatment, and use of excreta are all together vital for sustainable sanitation. The emphasis given worldwide on the importance of WASH has triggered the development of many innovative and cost effective WSH solutions. From the Ecosans, SulabhShauchalayas, Arborloosto the waterless toilets, urine diversion toilets there has been a paradigm shift in the way products are designed and deployed. Sanitation systemshave evolved to meet the needs of specific geographies, communities, climate, topography, resource constraints etc.
- In this light, it is also important to understand that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to low cost WSH solutions will not ensure utilization and beneficiary buy in. Efforts should be taken to offer market led, demand driven solutions that meet customer needs and aspirations. For example, a farmer may prefer a composting sanitation solution whereas a slum dweller may opt for a solution that makes optimum use of space. Given the vast array of time tested solutions that are available, the key is to provide access to the most compatible solutions under one roof, educating the beneficiary and empowering the beneficiary to make an informed choice about the type of sanitary system that will meet the his/her needs.
- ‘BSMart’will be the affordable, one stop solution for all WSH needs providing access to multiple WSH technologies and systems, thereby empowering the beneficiary to make an appropriate, and informed choice. ‘B SMart’ will develop the capacities of masons to deliver sustainable sanitation solutions to their communities, thereby improving the sanitation conditions in villages.‘B SMart’ will provide the counselling and advisory services required to enable the beneficiaries make an informed decision.
- BWDA Sanitary Mart will offer all components required for setting up suitable sanitation systems likehardware and designs required for the construction of not only sanitary latrines but also other sanitary facilities, such as soakage and compost pits,vermi-composting, washing platforms, certified domestic water filters and other sanitation & hygiene accessories like low cost ceramic pans and traps, RCC pit covers, pipes and other material required for construction different type of latrines and waste management solutions, as well as readymade cattle trough, food safe, water purifiers and filters, footwear, soaps, nail cutter and other items relating to personal hygiene and home sanitation required for individuals, families and the environment in the rural areas.
- ‘B SMart’ will also focus on menstrual hygiene of adolescent girls and rural women by facilitating cost effective Community led Sanitary Napkin Vending and Disposal Units in villages. BWDA Sanitary Mart will be a sustainable social enterprise contributing to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by addressing various WSH needs.
- The BWDA Sanitary Mart will operate in rural and semi-urban areas and facilitate Swachh Bharat Abhiyanby acting as a one-stop outlet, mainly for materials required for the construction of sanitary latrines to avail the subsidy component in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The B SMart Initiative will also facilitate water credit in partnership with banks and other financial institutions wherever required in addition the government subsidies available. The program will also take awareness creation to the next level by focusing on behaviorchange.
Program justification:BWDA has facilitated 19,145 WSH loans to low income households with the capacity support by Water.org. Five years of experience in educating beneficiaries and changing their mindset to avoid open defecation and use toilets, has highlighted the need for a facilitator who will enable people set up low cost sanitary solutions. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a push to enable people adopt safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices but constraints like lack of behavior change, lack of access to low cost sanitary solutions, lack of access to skilled manpower for setting up WSH facilities, corruption, lack of options to meet actual needs in the one size fits all approachetc. makes it imperative for a program like ‘B SMart’ to be implemented. There is also a huge demand from target beneficiaries for such initiatives and a demand for customizedsolutions.
Operational Model:Some of the key elements for the success of the program are a clear understanding of the target clientele and project areas, wide network of sanitarysystem suppliers, government and PRI linkage, linkage with CSR companies, access to water credit, seamless integration of demand generation and supply, capacity building support etc.
The ‘Campaign’ word in Total Sanitation Campaign designed by Government of India implies that the program has to be implemented in campaign mode which will result in large quantum of demand generation in short period of time. In addition, it also focuses on low-cost technology options for easy affordability at household level even for the poor households. These two requirements of the program call for a mechanism to manage the supply-side in Total Sanitation Campaign/Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. That is why the provision of an alternate delivery mechanism in the form of a network of Production Centres (PCs) and Rural Sanitary Marts (RSMs) was incorporated in Total Sanitation Campaign. Given the fact that the Govt. of India plans to construct 12 crore toilets, there will be a huge demand for supplies and services which will be offered by the ‘B(e) SMart’ Programs’ network.
‘B(e) SMart’ is a commercial venture with a social objective. The main aim of having a SanitaryMart is to provide materials, services and guidance needed for constructing different types of latrines and other sanitary facilities, which are technologically and financially suitable to the area.
BWDA Mercantile Pvt. Limited (BMPL) is a credit plus service provider which focuses on delivering products and services to support livelihood development like white goods, fair price consumables and clean energy services. BMPL will partner with proven, affordable sanitation solution providersand establish a centralized production unit for products that have to be manufactured. BMPL will set up Sanitary Marts in the existing service area/ branches of BWDA. BMPL will have a trained and empanelled list of masons/ technicians who under the supervision of BMPL will install the sanitary systems.
BWDA will focus on demand generation, awareness creation, behavior change and liaison with PRI. BWDA will facilitate counseling/ trainingof the beneficiaries whereas technical counseling will be handled by BMPL. BWDA will facilitate water credit directly or through BFL wherever required. Primary focus will be on linking of the government subsidy available for WSH construction to the implementation services provided by BMPL. The income will be shared by BMPL and BWDA.