Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has reiterated its commitment to India’s Swachh Bharat Mission and offered more support to main open defecation free status.
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) so far.
Improvement in sanitation is one of the high priority areas of intervention for JICA. For over the past 30 years, JICA has been consistently supporting India’s water and sanitation sector through ODA loans, technical cooperation and grants. Nearly 30 million people receive water from water supply projects, while 15 million people are expected to be benefited from sewerage projects, said a release.
Speaking on the occasion of World Toilet Day, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, “We are committed to support the Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission. JICA is deploying its considerable experience and expertise for the betterment of India’s sanitation sector by supporting the construction and maintenance of toilets and sewerage facilities across the country. We realize that the keys to bring about sanitation in India is ensuring the safety of toilets, providing water connections in toilets, and ensuring their regular maintenance. It is also critical to raise public awareness on sanitation to help us achieve the goal of sustaining India’s ODF status.”
JICA has supported the construction and upkeep of community toilets as part of ODA loan projects. Over 1,500 toilets have been constructed under Yamuna Action Plan, Ganga Action Plan and Odisha Integrated Sanitation Improvement Project. Some of the community toilets are equipped with showers/sinks, have dedicated children’s toilets, incinerators for sanitary pads and even feature bio-degradable odorless treatment of fecal matter.
Additionally, in the broader area of sanitation, JICA supports Japanese private companies to implement pilot projects that employ innovative technology from all over the world. Under a proposal-based funding program with Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs), a Japanese firm, Taisei Kougyou Co. Ltd., is addressing Swachh Bharat Mission by introducing decentralized sewage treatment facilities having advantages in little to no discharge and electricity use, high treatment capacity, and low cost and easy maintenance that being demonstrated in Varanasi for community toilet (use frequency: 200 times/day) and Muzaffarnagar for school toilet (use frequency: 400 times/day).