Community Toilet Assessment During Coronavirus Lockdown
COROs Right to Pee (RTP) campaign in collaboration with The Urban project (TUP) and UNICEF had mapped the 501 community toilets in M-East ward of MCGM with multi-stakeholder approach and grassroots voices at the core in (2018-19)
M East Ward stretches from Mankhurd Road going to Vashi, including areas such as Chembur (East), Govandi, Deonar, Baiganwadi, Shivaji Nagar, Gautam Nagar and Cheeta Camp, among others. Deonar has one of the biggest dumping grounds in the city.
M East ward has been the most vulnerable ward, the RED spot in this corona pandemic in the city, has reported several positive cases, and the officials say that newer cases were reported within hours of diagnostic clinics being set up in the slum pockets of Shivaji Nagar, Baiganwadi and Lotus Colony as they are high risk areas. Over 9 lakh people live in an areas of less than 4 sq km in shanties that are at times even ground plus two structures.
RTP in collaboration with TUP are trying to bridge the gap and create a space for dialogue between these stakeholders to resolve the issues . We did a rapid assessment of 49 toilets in 15 administrative wards and 27 communities of MEast ward. We spoke with 18 operators and 40 users and continued dialogue with 22 vigilance committees, thereafter we categorised, documented challenges, actions to be taken and issues to be resolved.
Issues that need attention:
- All the toilets have been made free by MCGM but it has become a challenge for operation and maintenance of the toilet, as cleaning kit is unavailable and electricity and water charges exist the same.
- Social distancing is a challenge over 9 lakh people live in an areas of less than 4 sq km in shanties that are at times even ground plus two structures.
- Women and girls reported harassment on way to toilet as they have to walk 10 minutes to toilet from their houses
- All have reported fear and stress about continuation of lockdown and loss of wages/work
- Non availability handwash or soap in the toilets
- Need of cleaning the temporary and MHADA toilets by MCGM
- Need of basic medical support in the community as all clinics are closed and no transport to access government hospitals
- Rise in the prices of drinking water from Rs 4 per litre to Rs 6/-
- There is rise of new type of discrimination that is Corona ward and non-corona wards or bastis
- Women and girls reported increase in household work, specifically cooking
- Shrinking of spaces within and outside houses, need for ventilation spaces and dialogue