In many ways , sanitation is starting to get a lot of attention especially in regard to the people who cannot easily access it, that is the rural and urban poor. But despite many interventions both from the private and government sector many people still do not have access to proper sanitation, and in some cases those that are able to access them, don't use it!
The last situation whereby people may not know the impact of good sanitation practices despite having access to toilets is probably the biggest hindrance to improving the sanitation situation in the country. So what can be done about it? Most sanitation programs heavily invest a lot of money and effort in providing infrastructure for sanitation and little effort in education and awareness. Most of these programs fail after some time because the intended target of such efforts do not value or know the importance of such facilities and majority of them ignore them or do not properly use and maintain them.
Behavioral change is one of the hindrances and yet a potential tool to spearhead change in this sector. We need to change how people view sanitation, break down cultural misconceptions and educate them on the individual and societal positive impact that good sanitation practices have. Awareness and provision of adequate facilities for sanitation go hand in hand and If properly planned and implemented would lead to more sustainable impact because it would essentially be changing behaviors and practices and these good sanitation practices would then be passed down generation to generation. Now that is what I would call sustainable impact.
This blog is one in a series that documents the journey of Saraplast in setting up an inclusive slum sanitation venture. To read more blogs in this series, click here.
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