Washington: The World Bank approved $1.5 billion loan for the Swach Bharat Mission (SBM) to ensure that every citizen in rural India have access to a toilet or latrine. Today, more than 500 million of the rural population in India continues to defecate in open.
The SBM-Gramin program focuses on ensuring usage of toilets along with their construction. States and their implementing agencies will be given incentives for meeting performance standards. Performance will be measured against the states’ ability to reduce open defecation. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will play the overseeing and coordinating role for the Program and support the participating states.
“This program, built on lessons learnt from global and national sanitation projects, represents a fundamental change in approach and recognizes the importance of coupling investments in the construction of toilets to its usage. For it to succeed, large-scale social mobilization for behavior change is critical at the community level,” said Soma Ghosh Moulik, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist and the project’s Task Team Leader.
The project will also finance specific activities to strengthen the current monitoring and evaluation system to capture timely, relevant, and reliable information on the program’s progress. Support will be provided for systematic knowledge sharing and innovation, as well as capacity building and partnership.
The loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a maturity of 18 years including a grace period of 5 years.
Source: The World Bank
Related link: How Geo tagging helped Delhi clean its streets