New Delhi: JICA celebrates National Cleanliness Day on January 30th 2020, by continuing to support the Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
The National Cleanliness Day is a countrywide event which aims at promotion and raising awareness on the importance of cleanliness. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which has contributed in upkeeping of cleanliness through its projects celebrated the National Cleanliness Day on January 30, 2020. Since 2014, every year on National Cleanliness Day is observed in an effort to maintain the hygiene and sanitation conditions. The sanitation coverage was just 40% in 2014, which increased to 80% in 2018 with the efforts of the Government of India. Although there is a vast improvement in the sanitation but there still remains a gap which needs to be addressed.
From the past 30 years, JICA has been closely working with the Government of India and supporting India’s water and sanitation sector through ODA loans, technical cooperation, and grants. The flagship program of Clean India Movement (Swachh Bharat Mission) started in 2014. To strengthen its efforts, JICA conducted the ‘Survey on Toilet 2015′ in order to understand the reasons for defecating in the open, and further worked on awareness programs to educate the masses.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “Cleanliness is not just limited to building infrastructure, but is also aimed at bringing about behavioral change. Which is why the projects of JICA has an underlying component of educating the people, building awareness and encouraging maintenance of the projects. Thus, we have built avenues to educate the masses and bring about a change in their mindset.”
JICA has funded a total of 25 water and sanitation projects in India, disbursing ODA loans worth 752 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 44,300 Crore)
In this context, the JICA-funded Kolkata Solid Waste Management Improvement Project (KSWMIP) has enhanced public awareness through street drama and lectures in school as it is important to raise public awareness around SLWM practices, and its best to learn such practices, at a young age. The project aims at segregation of waste and has contributed in composting biodegradable waste at the compost plants and enhancing more recycling. In the project, one of India’s first sanitary landfill site was constructed and measures are also in place to preserve ground water quality within 50m of the landfill site periphery.
Furthermore, JICA has supported the Government of India’s efforts in cleaning of river Yamuna under Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in addition to Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in Varanasi Presently ongoing YAP-II in Delhi would treat 950.7 MLD of waste water in Kondli, Rithala and Okhla area besides providing for sewage network. The objective of YAP and GAP projects is to improve water quality of the rivers, thereby augmenting sewage treatment system capacity with construction and rehabilitation of the sewerage system.
Another such example is that of “Mottainai Grandma”, Japanese children picture book from Kodansha that has been locally published by National Book Trust (NBT) with the support of JICA in India. Around 25,000 copies of book has already been printed. The book teaches children to respect the resources and not to waste without good care and consideration. The word “Mottainai” means “what a waste” in Japanese and the book lays importance on 4Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect. JICA understands the importance of inculcating good practices of cleanliness and hygiene at a young age and thus teach the children thoughtful waste management.
JICA in India is also supporting Taisei Kougyou Co., Ltd., a Japanese firm working towards waste water treatment technology called Taisei Soil System (TSS) containing unique soil infiltration processing material “Tafgard”. The system has advantages in little to no discharge and electricity use, high treatment capacity, low cost and easy maintenance that being demonstrated in Uttar Pradesh for community toilet and school toilet. JICA is facilitating installation of sustainable sewage treatment facilities for toilets through Taisei Kougyou Co., Ltd., thereby promoting proper sanitation and hygiene best practices.