Towards Sustainable Sanitation in slum areas: A field study in Allahabad


The report based on situation of sanitation and water supply in Allahabad slum areas is not satisfactory and concludes that open defecation alone is responsible for many diseases.


Fig : Source, Gaughat Allahabad

According to a data around 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation. One third of the 2.5 billion people without improved sanitation lives in India. Lack of one of these basic conditions has direct consequences on the physical and psychological well- being of the people. Inspite of many decades of development planning and assistance much of the rural and urban populations in most developing countries have low sanitation coverage. This report is based on my survey on sanitation and hygiene in various slum areas of Allahabad city. Sanitation has a greater effect on women than men. For young girls the lack of basic water and sanitation services translates into lost opportunities for education and associated opportunities for empowerment.

Due to improper integration of sanitation programme and inability of management systems and city institutions to provide better facilities has led to occurrence of various diseases and high mortality rates.

Data from the selected 20 slums were collected through field surveys and analysed through SPSS software to study the sanitation, and hygiene service scenarios of those slums.

The outcomes of the work are summarized as below:

  • It has been observed that with the rapid urbanization and population growth trends, the general little knowledge on their basic requirements, the limited capacity of the local authorities to supply improved services (water supply, sanitation) are the contributory factors for the deteriorating conditions of slum dwellers.

  • When all the slums studied during the survey, acceptable quality of water was Kasari-Masari (20%) & Beniganj (35%) and availability of toilets was Gaughat (6%), Pasana (20%) & Rasulpur, (20%).Only 36% of slum dwellers have household toilet facilities rest 62% defecate in open places.image                              Figure: Availability of toilet facility

  • 62.7% of supply of water supply was from piped water & rest from tankers and hand-pumps. In addition, 36% of the population does not use protected water source. Around 41% rural households have to walk around 30 minutes or less in one round trip to the water point for fetching water.image

Figure: Quality of water

  • Diarrhoea accounts for (19%) as the main occurring disease with flu (15.3%), malaria (11.7%), typhoid (8%), skin disease (4.7%). Children’s under 5 are more prone to these diseases. The study revealed that level of knowledge about waterborne diseases was relatively high (66%), but knowledge on transmission routes was inadequate. The attitude and practice on hygiene was also found to be high (92.67%).

  • It is found that majority of the population, 73 percent washed away their children’s stool in water facility or left in to open fields.

  • Major challenges and gaps are associated with water, sanitation and hygiene practices among the community in the study area.

    According to the study conducted during survey have listed few recommendations to improve the living status of slum, are as follows:

  • This is high time to inform, educate and guide the urban poor about the environmental significance of the basic utilities in living a standard life.

  • Government can play a vital role to assist the basic service developing schemes by taking various effective steps, like enhancing laws and providing subsides, population growth control etc.

  • Different national and international NGOs should come forward with efficient developing projects for the betterment of living condition of slum dwellers in Allahabad city as well as the whole nation.

  • Technology has a central part in developing rural areas. Therefore, proper application of technology should be applied in the rural areas so that rural people don’t need to come to cities for employment and better life.

  • Act of electronic and print media (Radio, T.V, newspaper, Magazine) may also play a vital role in this regard by making advertisements on adverse effect of overgrowing population, benefits of drinking treated water, using latrines for excreta disposal and hand washing with soap.

    The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.