Aga Khan Foundation receives national sanitation award in India

Delhi, India, 27 April 2017 – The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was awarded the FICCI- India Sanitation Coalition prize for a model of integrated block-level sanitation that is contributing to the pledge made by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to eliminate open defecation by October 2019.

The Award was delivered by the Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu, to the Aga Khan Foundation’s (AKF) CEO, Tinni Sawhney, and other dignitaries from the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP).

“We are honoured to receive this prestigious award, and contribute to the national campaign to create open defecation-free habitations. The model that we have implemented is a collaborative initiative, working in close partnership with the district and state government, prioritizing a strong behavior change component to ensure sustained use and maintenance of sanitation facilities,” said Tinni Sawhney, the AKF CEO.

The integrated block-level sanitation model is being piloted in rural Bihar, India.   The approach focuses on community-led initiatives for ensuring universal sanitation coverage at the village and block level, real time tracking of household sanitation coverage, monitoring improvements in key hygiene behaviours using a mobile-based app, and strengthening the sanitation supply chain through training of masons, including making available required materials for toilet construction.

The model, which is being implemented by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme and the Aga Khan Foundation, is part of AKDN’s wider, pan-national Comprehensive Sanitation Initiative.  The initiative aims to improve access to water and sanitation for marginalised communities across urban and rural India, including helping 100,000 families and 538 schools build toilets, in the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

AKDN agencies and programmes have won a number of awards for water and sanitation measures, including the 2015 Times of India Social Impact Award for its effort in ensuring access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation in Bihar and Gujarat. Earlier, a project in Gujarat’s taluka of Siddhpur, undertaken by the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, received a “Nirmal Gram” award.

Source: AKDN org

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