This document presents the findings of a study conducted in June 2018 in 28 villages of Manikpur block of Chitrakoot district, Uttar Pradesh, to ascertain the following:

  • Sources of water used for drinking and other household purposes by members of the community, with users’ perceptions on quantity and quality of water
  • Different types of private and public sanitation facilities in the village, and users’ perceptions on the status of the facilities
  • Drinking water collection, storage and use practices
  • Waste disposal practices

The study was conducted as part of a project being undertaken in the 28 villages by Akhil Bhartiya Samaj Sewa Sansthan (ABSSS), Chitrakoot, with support from ChildFund India (CFI), New Delhi.

The 28 villages, like the rest of Manikpur block, fall under a region known as Patha, which is a rocky upland with poor soil and severely degraded forests. The major part of the population comprises people of the Kol adivasi group, which is designated as a scheduled caste in UP. Victims of exploitation for generations, the Kols are a highly marginalised and poor people with low educational and health levels. Many of their villages are in remote locations which are frequented by dacoit gangs. As a result, public services in the area are ineffective.

Poor health and nutrition levels are most alarmingly reflected in malnutrition figures. According to a data collected for 938 children of 0-5 years in the 28 villages through a health camp organised by ABSSS in association with the Community Health Centre (CHC), Manikpur, 21% of male children and 19% of female children are severely malnourished.

Considering the above, the ABSSS-CFI project has been designed with the objective of “enabling all children from 0-5 years and pregnant and lactating mothers living in poverty to lead healthier, more productive and self-sufficient lives through an integrated approach to tackling the health and nutrition issues”.

Against the above background, the present study was undertaken to help the project team form a clear understanding of the WASH situation in the village of the basis of empirical data. The understanding is expected to lead to more effective project strategies and interventions.

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