IEC activities for increasing awareness on Arsenic

Arsenic in groundwater used for drinking is emerging as a potential threat to water supply coverage in Uttar Pradesh.  A testing and mitigation strategy is being evolved by UP Jal Nigam (UPJN) under the ‘Study of Arsenic in Groundwater in UPL Ph-II’ project supported by UNICEF.  This project has two distinct parts.  Part one includes screening testing for arsenic in selected blocks of 49 districts of the state.  Part two is blanket testing of all sources, communication, health activities and mitigation in arsenic-affected areas of Ballia and Lakhimpur Kheri districts where screening testing conducted by UPJN has already confirmed presence of arsenic in the groundwater used for drinking.

Arsenic affected blocks of Lakhimpur district

According to WHO, about 80% of all sickness and diseases are linked to the unsafe drinking water conditions. 1.5 million children under the age group of 5 years, die every year due to lack of safe water and proper sanitation in India, alone. The Infant Mortality can be cut down by 50% if safe water is provided. In order to ensure safe water to the communities, UNICEF has been supporting the programmes of safe water. In this regard it has been working on the issue of safe water quality. It has been working in partnership with U.P. Jal Nigam to address the upcoming problem of Arsenic contamination in certain pockets of U.P. To scale up its efforts UNICEF and UPJN have jointly planned awareness and communication campaign by involving professional NGOs.

The agreement was made between U.P. Jal Nigam and Sharnam Sansthan for a period of three months from15 June 2006to14 September 2006. Following is the report from Sharnam Sansthan for a period of two months i.e.15 June 2006 to14 August 2006.

Arsenic is a poison that eventually kills those who are exposed to it in high quantities and for extended periods of time. The first symptoms of arsenicosis are dark brown calluses on the palms and the soles of the feet. Over time, the calluses increase in number and size and eventually make walking and working near impossible. Within 10 years of extended exposure to arsenic, a person may start to develop small freckle-like spots all over the body. These are the preliminary stages of skin cancer. Eventually, the arsenic that spreads throughout the body concentrates into cancerous tumors that can be fatal unless immediately treated.

Arsenic in groundwater used for drinking is emerging as a potential threat to water supply coverage in Uttar Pradesh.  A testing and mitigation strategy is being evolved by UP Jal Nigam (UPJN) under the ‘Study of Arsenic in Groundwater in UPL Ph-II’ project supported by UNICEF.  This project has two distinct parts.  Part one includes screening testing for arsenic in selected blocks of 49 districts of the state.  Part two is blanket testing of all sources, communication, health activities and mitigation in arsenic-affected areas of Lakhimpur Kheri districts where screening testing conducted by UPJN has already confirmed presence of arsenic in the groundwater used for drinking.

Programme Objective

ü  Assess the Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of community with regards to arsenic in drinking water.

ü  Generate demand for private testing in all affected project villages.

ü  Implement of alternative water sources in project area with active participation of the community.

Geographical Coverage – Details of GP/village/hamlets covered

The team of Sharnam Sansthan is working in three Blocks of District Lakhimpur. We requested to AE Jal Nigam to provide list of villages where Arsenic has been found to have contamination of more than 50 ppb. AE JN, Lakhimpur suggested working in 12 high priority Gram Panchayats including 20 villages/hamlets. The list has been shared with CPU of UPJN and after their consent the work has been started in these GPs and now we are implementing activities in this area.  

List of Villages – Contain > 50 ppb Arsenic in water, District : Lakhimpur

Name of BC

Gram Panchayat

Gram

Hamlet

Block: Ishanagar

Rajesh Pathak

Parsia Parsia

2

Laukahi Laukahi

3

Palia Palia

1

Ishanagar Ishanagar

2

Birsinghpur Birsinghpur

3

Block: Nakaha

Rizwan Ahmad

Nakaha Nakaha

1

Allipur Allipur

1

Darigapur Darigapur

1

Rudrapur Salim Rudrapur Salim

1

Block: Dhaurahra

Shahjahan

Kaluapur Kaluapur

1

Chaklakhipur Chaklakhipur

1

Amethi Amethi

3

Activities performed

To achieve the goal of the project, different activities have been performed in the project area i.e. Community Meetings, Focus group discussion, Inter Personal Communication, and folk performance among the community.

- A Report –  

 “Ascertaining the knowledge attitude and practice of community towards Arsenic in Drinking water”

District; Lakhimpur

 

 

 Submitted to:

United Nation’s children fund ‘Unicef’ and UP Jal Nigam

By

Sharnam Sansthan

A – 43 Rajiv Nagar, Kalyanpur Lucknow – 226 0022

Ph: – 0522-2751463/ 9415034973, E-mail: .sharnam_sharnam@yahoo.co.in


Executive Summary

Recently, the ground water in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur District was found to be contaminated with arsenic. It is just the latest evidence of a problem that now affects the drinking water of 35 million people in Bangladeshand, India, according to the latest UN estimates.

United nation’s children fund (UNICEF) and U.P. Jal Nigam has commissioned a survey of 50 households in District Lakhimpur to assess the knowledge attitude and practice of the community with regards to arsenic in drinking water.  Questionnaire has been finalized with the discussion with UPJN/UNICEF.

  Background

Arsenic in groundwater used for drinking is emerging as a potential threat to water supply coverage in Uttar Pradesh.  A testing and mitigation strategy is being evolved by UP Jal Nigam (UPJN) under the ‘Study of Arsenic in Groundwater in UPL Ph-II’ project supported by UNICEF.  This project has two distinct parts.  Part one includes screening testing for arsenic in selected blocks of 49 districts of the state.  Part two is blanket testing of all sources, communication, health activities and mitigation in arsenic-affected areas of Lakhimpur district, where screening testing conducted by UPJN has already confirmed presence of arsenic in the groundwater used for drinking.

 At the start and end of the project KAP survey was proposed to be conducted by the project team to asses the knowledge attitude and practice of the community with regards to arsenic in drinking water. KAP survey was completed by the Block coordinators (BC) under the close supervision of the District Coordinator (DC).

 3.0 Survey Objectives

To assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of people on Arsenic in water and it’s affect on people residing in the project area; a survey was completed with the following objectives:

  • To assess the knowledge level regarding the affects of Arsenic in drinking water.
  • To assess the attitude and practice if Arsenic found in drinking water source.
  • Identify the main water source of the community.                                               
  • To asses the knowledge towards Arsenicosis disease caused by Arsenic
  • To know the social behavior with the patient of Arsenicosis.
  • To asses the percentage of households having private water source in the community.
  • Use of water which is contaminated by Arsenic.
  • To asses the demand of testing of private water source.
  • To asses the contribution in installing of new water source and maintenance of the new water source of the community. 

4.0 Methodology and Sampling

The survey was conducted in 50 households in nine blocks Nakaha, Ishanagar, Dhaurahra of district Laknimpur. The survey team first of all reached to the project districts and contacted Executive Engineer UP Jal Nigam and other officers for collecting the list of Gram Panchayats. From the Gram Panchayat list village /hamlets have been identified on stratified random sampling basis. For stratification of the village /hamlets and households criteria which has been use is given below:

  • Nearest and farthest distance from the block;
  • Village from all directions of the Blocks thus covering the geographical area- spatially
  • 25 male and 25 female selected for the interview.
  • Age group selected from the age of 15 to > 50 years.
  • Existing caste in the community i. e. SC, OBC, General and Minority.

According to objective, an extensive questionnaire based survey, personal interviews with the community (male/female).

After the village selection the surveyors/ researchers of the Sharnam Sansthan’s team approached all villages and contacted the community members. In the village interaction was done with the community representatives and PRI members besides the physical observation regarding the availability of safe water sources facilities and then survey conducted from the interview of male female, different age group and caste. The table is illustrated below.

 Table: 1 Stratified random sampling

Sl.

Block

Gender

AGE

Caste

Male

Female

Total

15-18

18-35

35-50

> 50

Total

SC

OBC

Gen

Min

Total

1

Dhaurahra

8

9

17

1

7

6

3

17

3

6

7

1

17

2

Ishanagar

16

14

30

3

12

10

5

30

5

10

12

3

30

3

Nakaha

2

2

4

 0

1

3

0

4

0

3

1

0

4

Total

26

25

51

4

20

20

8

51

8

19

20

4

51

The field survey was done by Block Coordinators and was supervised by District Coordinator of Global Ideas. The District Coordinator monitored the survey process of the enumerators and also participated in the direct survey process.

 5.0 Major Findings

  1. It was observed that only 5.8% (3 out of 51) people know the Arsenic word and they heard this word “Arsenic” from school teacher, health worker and radio.
  2. In the interview of 50 community members, it is observed that 45% households are depending onIndiamark-II hand pump.
  3. Only 2 responders out of 5.8 %, who heard about arsenic, stated that Arsenic found in water.
  4. All 3 villagers stated that they will not use the water for drinking if Arsenic found in water source.
  5. Analyzed that 3 villagers know the arsenic word and 2 villagers are aware that Arsenic generally found in Hand Pump’s water.
  6.  6% Villagers expressed that they will not use this waster for any purposes if Arsenic content is found.
  7. 5.8% (3 out of 51) villagers told that they will stop the use of Arsenic affected water.
  8. Only one person stated that he will use the Arsenic affected water for drinking.
  9. According to the opinion of 2 community members Arsenic can be removed from water.
  10. Analyzed that only one person is aware about the symptoms of the disease caused by Arsenic.
  11. Among 3 villagers 66% people expressed that the person will fall ill after some time if he is using the Arsenic effected water as drinking water.
  12. Only 1 person expressed that Arsenicosis is a communicable disease.
  13. This is analyzed that according to only 1 person that we should not share the water source with the person suffered from Arsenicosis.
  14. No body accepted that the person should leave the village if he is suffered from Arsenicosis.
  15. This is encouraging that all 3 people are aware that the Arsenic testing campaign is being held by the government department.
  16. Only 1 person is aware that the blue marked Hand Pumps indicates Arsenic free and 1 villager is aware that red marked hand pumps indicates Arsenic effected water source.
  17. In the interview of 3 community members domestic hand pumps is available in 1 house as water source.
  18. No any domestic hand pumps are tested, according to the villagers.
  19. Only one person accepted that he knows the person suffered from Arsenicosis.
  20. Gram Panchayat should be responsible for testing of under ground water sources as per 1 people’s opinion.
  21. 2 responders are interested to spend some amount for testing of their private water source.
  22. On the issue of bearing the cost of installation of new water source and maintenance of water sources community has agreed to bear some cost of maintenance and repairs in 2 and 1 case respectively.

 6.0 Activities Undertaken

 6.1 Contact with the Jal Nigam

For the survey of fifty households in three blocks of the district, list of effected Gram Panchayats was required, in this context our team contacted to district official Jal Nigam and stated them regarding KAP survey and got the list of 12 high priority Gram Pancayats in three Blocks of District Lakhimpur.

 6.2 Field Survey

As per the (Terms of Reference) ToR, GI was required to conduct survey of 50 households. Accordingly the team has conducted survey by covering 51 houses in three blocks of the Lakhimpur district. Following table shows the details of Gram Panchayats/villages/hamlets surveyed.

List of Villages – Contain > 50 ppb Arsenic in water, District : Lakhimpur

Name of BC

Gram Panchayat

Village

No. of Interview

Block: Ishanagar

Rajesh Pathak

Parsia Parsia

4

Laukahi Laukahi

4

Palia Palia

2

Ishanagar Ishanagar

4

Birsinghpur Birsinghpur

5

Block: Nakaha

Rizwan Ahmad

Nakaha Nakaha

4

Allipur Allipur

5

Darigapur Darigapur

4

Rudrapur Salim Rudrapur Salim

2

Block: Dhaurahra

Shahjahan

Kaluapur Kaluapur

6

Chaklakhipur Chaklakhipur

5

Amethi Amethi

6

TOTAL

51

 7.0 Analysis of KAP Survey

After the survey of 50 households KAP format compiled for the analysis. Point of the analysis is illustrated here…

 7.1   Main Water Source of the community

Water sources

The survey team made interaction with 51 villagers for this survey. Among the total 51 houses no body is using the tube well as main drinking water source, 45% (23) villagers are using IM II hand pumps for drinking water and 52.9% are depend on small (Domestic) hand Pumps. Only 1  person (2%, 1 out of 51) stated that he uses well as main drinking water source. It is observed that pond, river and rain water harvest tanks does not use as drinking water source in the community. This table is showing the data of water sources…

Table: 3 Water Source of the community

Main Drinking water Source of the Community

Tube well

well

Pond

River

Rain water tank

IM II hand Pump

Small HP

others

Total

0

1

0

0

0

23

27

0

51

7.2 Knowledge of Community towards the Arsenic word                         

Awareness level- About Arsenic

On this issue only 6% (3 out of 51) villagers accepted that they know the arsenic word while 94% villagers are unknown towards the arsenic word. In these people 1 villager heard this word from government officials. 2 responders stated that Arsenic found in water while 1 person was not aware regarding the availability of arsenic, 1 villager expressed that arsenic found in the water of hand pumps and 1 member of the community told that the arsenic found rain water.

7.3 Identification of arsenic in water

To asses the knowledge towards arsenic, question asked by survey team that can you find out the arsenic in water through the smell, taste and color, in the response of this question, 1 person said that it can be identified by smell, taste and color.    

7.4 Attitude and practice if Arsenic found in water source

For ascertaining the attitude and practice regarding the arsenic, a detailed assessment of this factor has been done in the survey and it is resulted that all three people stated that they will totally stop the use of contaminated water, while the 1 villager accepted that the contaminated water can be use in other house hold activities and no any community members expressed that they will do nothing if arsenic found in the water source. Further to asses the specific use of arsenic contaminated water different parameter were covered as follows…  

Various uses of water

Various uses of water

Use of water in…….

a)    Washing cloths

b)    Washing utensils

c)    Drinking

d)    Bathing

e)    Cooking food

f)     Other household activities

The persons were interacted for knowing the use of arsenic contaminated water, only 1 villager stated that the water can be use as drinking water as shown in the graph. Opinion of 2 villagers was the arsenic affected water should not use in drinking, only 1 community member stated that use of this water is safe for cooking and maximum community expressed that this water can be use only for washing cloths and bathing.

 7.5 Symptoms of Arsenicosis

The parameter of inquiry under this section was to know the awareness regarding the symptoms of Arsenicosis, no any villager answered that cancer is the symptoms of arsenicosis and 1 community member expressed that skin disease is the main sign of arsenicosis and maximum 16% community accepted that they are unknown about the symptoms of this disease.

Total 66% (2 out of 3) villagers said that the person will fall ill after some time if he use the arsenic contaminated water for drinking and the opinion all 3 people is that the sufferer will recover if he drinks safe water, according to all 3 responders the person will die from the regular and long time use of arsenic contaminated water.

 7.6 Testing of Water Sources for Arsenic

All three community members are aware that the testing of the water sources is being held and 33% villagers in these three people knew about this testing by government officials. 33% responders are aware regarding the testing in their village but in matter of marking of hand pumps only 1 villager stated that the blue marked hand pumps indicates arsenic free water source while only 1 person is aware regarding the red marked hand pump. During the survey it is observed that either the marked removed from the hand pumps or total hand pumps not marked yet.

 7.7 Availability of small (Domestic) hand pumps and testing of arsenic

Availability of local hand pumps in houses

Full questionnaire filled with only 3 people of the community out of 51 surveys because only 3 villagers were aware towards the arsenic and the availability of small hand pumps found in only 1 house. 33% (1 out of 3) villagers expressed that the arsenic test has been done of their water source. No any contaminated water source found in houses.

According to the survey 33% people considered that Government department is responsible for the testing of arsenic in water sources and as same opinion of the 33% villagers Gram Panchayat is responsible for the testing of entire water source of the village.

 

 7.8 Participation level of community in testing, installation and Maintenance of water sources

Community participation in Testing, Installation and maintenance of Hand pumps

No development program can be sustained unless it covers four dimensions of sustainability i.e. social, institutional, financial and environmental sustainability. While social and institutional sustainability can be ensured through the capacity building and awareness generation among the community for the financial sustainability it is necessary to incorporate the element of community financing in any programme. Swajal, one of the most successful program in the history of Water and has got the element of community based revenue generation, embedded into its project cycle. In order to assess the level of community’s preparedness in financing the water source’s interventions the survey focused on following parameters:

  • Preparedness of the community to bear the minimum cost for testing of private water sources.
  • Preparedness of the community to bear the minimum cost for maintenance to keep free the water from arsenic.
  • Participation of the community to bear some cost for the installation and maintenance of    new water source.

 When community was asked to know their readiness to bear the cost of testing the private water sources. In 66% cases the community has shown their interest and the encouraging point is that in all cases community has agreed to bear Rs. 50 cost of testing. In 66% case the community has agreed to bear the cost of maintenance to keep water source arsenic free. Up to 66% persons have agreed to bear some cost for the installation of the new water supply. It is interesting to note that one person was in these 3 was ready to bear higher cost for this scheme. Community is ready to support the activities of water supply scheme. It can be concluded that about 66% of community is ready to bear Rs.50 for the installation of new water supply. 

      Similar to above, almost same is the trend to bear the cost of maintenance. 66% community is ready to bear the cost of maintenance. 

 

Registered Office

SHARNAM SANSTHAN
A-43, Rajeev Nagar, Kanchana
Bihari Marg,Kalyanpur,
Ring Road, Lucknow-226022.
Tel no.: +91-0522–2751463
              09415034973
E-mail: info@sharnam.org
Website: www.sharnam.org

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