Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene: Day Two Snapshot

MUMBAI: The second day of the Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene witnessed some compelling themes on behavioural change for sustainable sanitation practices, active initiatives for a pro-poor change in the sanitation and hygiene domain and also about the driving force of leaders in this spectrum. Speakers such as David Kuria (co-founder of Eco Tact, Kenya; presentation on Global Challenges, Local Innovations) and participants alike invoked the need for identification and promotion of social entrepreneurs, for inclusive development in addressing the issues of urban sanitation.

A plenary discussion on the science of behaviour change and social transformation programmes through contemporary case studies (Balbir Pasha-HIV/AIDS) signalled a new dimension of striking social media campaigns in urban sanitation strategies.

I was also drawn to the photo exhibition by the Visual Anthropologist, O. P. Singh on the ‘Urban Right to Water and Sanitation’, which highlighted the urgent need for safe sanitation ‘hardwares and softwares’ in Delhi. He was of the opinion that debates about Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and presentation on behavioural change, marking the key programmes of the second day of the forum, presented sanitation issues in an episodic manner and did not clearly bring out the sundry strata of beneficiaries where each of these issues and associated solutions can be applied.

Lastly, safe sanitation and water go hand in hand, yet the issue of accessibility to water and water management found little prominence today. This should be an essential discussion for later in the conference.

Praveen Kumar, research associate of Professor Shyama Ramani

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