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    Community participation in improving environmental situation--a case study of Panchkhal. Part II.

    Upadhya DP

    Joicfp Review. 1983 Spring; (6):25-31.

    During 1980, the Integrated Family Planning and Parasite Control Project initiated the construction of 5 low-cost toilets in the rural Panchkhal Project area of Nepal for demonstration purposes on a subsidy basis. On recommendation from the members of the cooperation committee, these toilets were constructed within school premises located in different Village Panchayats. The overall strategy adopted during the parasite control program was to generate community participation in latrine construction. In the fiscal year 1981, 30 more subsidized sanitary toilets were built in the pilot area. With a view to determine how many families would be interested in constructing sanitary toilets on a subsidy basis towards the later part of 1981, the Project invited applications from the people of the pilot area. This was done to check people's attitudes towards the program. The response was encouraging. By the end of 1981, there were 300 applications; interest would have increased if the Project could aid all of the potential applicants. UNICEF has been involved in latrine construction by granting money and aiding in latrine design. The Panchkhal experience shows that community people are prepared to spend as much as 75% of the building costs for constructing sanitary toilets, when they are convinced that their health will improve as a result. Those who can afford the toilets will pay Nepal Rs25 (about US$1.90); those who cannot pay cash will provide labor to make the cement slabs. The very poor sector of the community, upon recommendation of members of the cooperation committees, may be given squatting slabs free of charge, if they are interested in constructing latrines. Constraints to the program include: difficult geography for constructing latrines; deforestation and dried-up wells; high illiteracy; lack of higher education facilities; and lack of appropriate technology. Recommendations call for distribution of materials at a nominal charge; casting the slabs over the household pits in difficult terrains; health education to motivate the community to adopt preventive measures against malnutrition and infection; and community organization for community participation. A field questionnairre and survey results obtained in 1982 are appended to the summary.
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