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Public-Private Partnership for Prevention of Waterborne Diseases in Urban Slums of Hyderabad

The Institute is partnering with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to identify risks associated with spread of waterborne diseases in slum areas of Hyderabad and provide suggestions to address these risks. As part of this partnership, the Institute regularly monitors quality of water supplied to residents of identified slums. Samples are collected from various sources and tested for residual chlorine and bacteriological contamination. IHS personnel also record their observations pertaining to any circumstances at the slum site that could have an impact on water quality, such as leakage of the tap, damage of the sewerage pipelines and sewerage overflows, cross connections with sewerage pipes, cracked or eroded tap stand, presence of open defecation in the near vicinity, presence of farm animals or industrial pollution etc. Board is notified of all sewerage overflows, with exact address. When the overflows are from within houses, respective households are informed of their potential health hazards. The status followed up during repeat visits. A key focus of the partnership is to empower residents for prevention of waterborne diseases. Field staff inform concerned residents about the potential health hazards and advice remedial action. During outbreaks, the residents were educated about good hygiene practices and measures to prevent water contamination. Community Mobilization by Focus Group Discussions with women in slum is also conducted in each slum. In addition quality of water supplied by hotels, street vendors, eateries etc., in the slum areas are also monitored. Reports are provided on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to the Board. The presence of external monitoring and direct reporting of findings to senior most level of Board management, has to a great extent ensured that lower level staff are more vigilant and prompt in carrying out their routine work. Data indicate that there has been an overall improvement in levels of chlorination of water supplied to the slums, during the reporting period. Further, communication of findings on a real time basis to the officers of board, ensures prompt response in taking corrective measures. The project was commissioned by the HMWSSB and has been in operation since February 2005[1].

[1]Letter No. MD/HMWSSB/IHS/2004-05, Dt. 25/01/2005 Letter No. MD/HMWSSB/IHS/2005-06/299, Dt. 31/03/2006


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