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Nagaland’s water and sanitation challenge

According to Nagaland’s Chief Minister, TR Zeliang, challenges related to water and sanitation will magnify in the future due to an ever-growing urban population, needing to share already insufficient and poorly managed resources. Launching the National Sanitation Awareness Campaign for Nagaland, Zeliang said most of the urban poor tend to be excluded from these sanitation services. This is the primary cause of water contamination and water-borne diseases. He also mentioned that improving the water and sanitation problem in an urban setting is not an easy task, as the required infrastructure, either new or upgraded, is restricted.

According to the CM, this calls for strong legislation, guidelines and building codes, which can only be instituted and monitored by national and local governments. He called upon the all tribal organisations, churches, village councils and the VDBs to be involved in implementation of this programme. Capacity building for anganwadi workers and school teachers may also be undertaken, he said, while suggesting that a simple guide book can be made, containing accurate and relevant messages, information and knowledge content. This guide book will be under various themes, such as, personal hygiene, use of toilets, safe storage and handling of water, hand washing after defecation, hand washing before and after taking food and environmental sanitation including management of waste.

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