United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) in Schools Leads to Completion of Education and Decreases Girls’ Dropouts – Indian SME and Large Corporation Partnering in Support of Goals 6 and 4

Banka BioLoo Limited (
Private sector
)
#SDGAction33661
    Description
    Intro

    India has had the dubious distinction of having the highest number of people practicing open defecation, more so in the rural areas. Supporting the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), initiated in 2014 and SDGs adopted in 2015 – Banka BioLoo, an SME in the WaSH sector and Havells, one of India’s largest electrical equipment companies, formed a partnership to provide sanitation in schools in Alwar district of Rajasthan, in northern India. The companies, jointly, have been providing toilet blocks (for girls and boys, separately) with water and handwashing facility in 100 schools, for underprivileged children, every year since 2015.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    After the school sanitation program was inked between Havells and Banka BioLoo in 2015, the latter set up a production unit in Alwar to manufacture the bioloos and deployed a team, which steadily grew and mainly includes local youth for production and installation of bioloos in schools. Every year 100 schools are sanitized, with 8 bioloos in each school – 4 for boys and 4 for girls. This number could be increased or decreased depending on the students’ population in the school. Broad strategy of implementation was chalked out at the start of the program between the main stakeholders – Havells and Banka BioLoo. It included providing WaSH in the schools in which the mid-day meal program was ongoing. This ensured that a set of schools was already identified and available to implement, in the initial years of the program. The sample bioloo block was approved by Havells officers, in conjunction with school staff. Every six months, the managers and officers from the two organizations meet to review the progress, understand feedback from school staff and students. Informal and formal meetings with school officials take place monthly. These meetings also help identify potential unserved schools, as also incorporate feedback from existing schools. Project execution includes a brief survey among the schools where the program is to be implemented. This helps in need assessment and accordingly 4/8/12/16 bioloos are installed in the school depending on the student population. This is finalized between Havells, Banka BioLoo and school administration. Production of bioloo structures, bio-digester tanks and bacteria inoculum happens through the year. After the schools are identified, number of bioloos per school is finalized. Then the Banka BioLoo team takes the materials in lorries to the respective schools and bioloos are installed by the team. It’s a smooth process and all team members adhere to their duties and responsibilities ensuring that the school children get effective WaSH facilities for their daily needs.

    Results/Outputs/Impacts

    The Alwar School Sanitation Program showed healthy results. Children’s attendance improved, and many parents told the school authorities that the children are happier and healthier. The children are keen to come to school every day, and don’t wish to miss classes. The families, too, have gained from the overall environment of cleanliness and sanitation, including through the messages brought home by young students. For instance, many families that didn’t have toilets at home (India has had the highest rate of open defecation) began constructing one, as the children shared their bioloo experience at home. Impact assessment study was done through Impact Lab of Business Call to Action, a platform of UNDP. The positive spill-over of the program is that more schools in the district look forward to having bioloos in their campus. School children, as ambassadors of water, sanitation and hygiene, carry the message of WaSH to their families and communities, triggering a multiplier effect.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    The Alwar School Sanitation program/practice has many reasons to claim success. The willingness of the main stakeholder and contributor, Havells, was the main reason. Havells’s commitment to the cause of holistic education within the communities close to its production unit was the prime enabler. Banka BioLoo, the implementing partner, has school sanitation very close to its heart, and was equally keen to join. This was coupled with the desire of the school administration to provide water, sanitation and hygiene facility to the underserved students. The village elders, too, provided the moral support to the program.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The practice is, highly, scalable and replicable. In fact, it has been replicated in various states of India. The bioloos have been implemented in many other schools across India, and can be done so in other countries. The main components of bioloos, such as the toilet structures, bio-digester tanks and bacteria inoculum, are manufactured and produced at the plant, from where these are transported to the respective schools and the teams install them. There is no dependence on external entities at the site, ensuring rapid and hassle-free implementation. The bioloo is a sustainable sanitation solution, with environmentally-friendly waste treatment integrated. The costs are lower compared to traditional systems, and employs modern bio-digester technology to treat waste onsite. The solution is cost-effective as there is no expenditure for waste transportation and disposal after the bioloos are installed.

    Other sources of information

    The bioloos were selected as an innovative solution promoting SDGs for the first Solutions Summit in 2015, selected among 14 to present at the summit of 800+ nominations http://www.solutions-summit.org/ Government of Rajasthan, at its first-ever CSR Summit in 2017 honoured Havells with the newly-instituted CSR Awards of Excellence in the category of Clean Water and Sanitation https://indiasanitationcoalition.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/havells-honou…

    COVID-19 Impact

    COVID-19 has slowed the implementation of future projects, but as things are opening up, we continue to build back better.

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    Timeline
    02 October 2014 (start date)
    31 December 2020 (date of completion)
    Entity
    Banka BioLoo Limited
    Ongoing
    No
    SDGs
    Other beneficiaries

    The program engaged all stakeholders, right from the start. Havells, through its CSR program, had its managers and officers participate keenly. Banka BioLoo, the implementing partner, through its managers and local officers was involved in and out. The school staff and children were involved before, during and after the bioloos were installed in the schools. The engagement process also included the village elders in which the school was.

    More information
    Countries
    India
    India
    Contact Information

    Sanjay, Chairman