Promoting and deepening urban climate resilience through decentralized wastewater treatment in Gorakhpur
Due to lack of proper irrigation facilities in the peri-urban areas of Gorakhpur, the small and marginal farmers use wastewater for irrigation to minimize the irrigation cost. Consumption of vegetables grown with this water creates a huge risk of diseases. Sanitation is another problem of the peri-urban areas because most of the villages in peri-urban areas neither have proper drainage system nor the latrine system. Open defecation is still very prevalent in these villages. Untreated disposal of sewage and open defecation contaminates the underground water which is the only source of drinking water. Hence, the treatment of wastewater and the checking of open defecation are prerequisites for maintaining the good health and hygiene status in the area.
GEAG proposed and supported the construction of Decentralized Waste Water Treatment Plants (DEWATS) in the peri-urban areas with the objective of demonstrating decentralized community managed wastewater treatment system. These systems recycle the sewer water for a cheap, safe and reliable source of irrigation round the year or for safe disposal in reservoirs for sustainable sanitation.
DEWATS is a civil construction of treating wastewater without any extra energy, recurring expenditure and with least labour, operation and maintenance cost.
Following are the key activities undertaken by GEAG:
- Two DEWATSs were successfully constructed, installed and inaugurated by Divisional Commissioner and Chief Development Officer of the district in the Semra Devi Prasad and Shekhpurwa villages respectively in the peri-urban zone of Gorakhpur city during the year 2016. Both the units are properly treating the wastewater and treated wastewater is being utilized by the farmers for watering their fields.
- To make the village open defection free and to ensure total sanitation, some indicators were developed and the village level sanitation staff was trained in community led total sanitation (CLTS) process.
- Awareness meetings for safe drinking water were also held and the community was educated and motivated for using uncontaminated, toxic chemicals and pathogens free, good quality of water.
- Properly constructed closed drains with suitable flow and treatment of domestic wastewater minimized the breeding of mosquitoes and flies which are the carrier of various diseases
- The pilot project of DEWATS has shown encouraging result for ensuring the long-term sustainable initiatives to make the area more resilient to sanitation and health of the community.
- DEWATS has come up as a support tool for toilet construction, as most of the grey and sewage water has its routes through proper drains.
- The community has now become more sensitized on the health and hygiene issues because it affects their general well being in particular and socio-economic improvement in general.
- Farmers have used the treated water for irrigation and they are of the opinion that the production and quality of agricultural products are better