Providing access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right and also essential to any humanitarian response. Water, sanitation, and hygiene related problems are common secondary effects of disasters and are ordinarily seen in most emergency situations. Therefore,Water and sanitation programming, alongside hygiene promotion, is key to reducing deaths from water-related diseases in emergency contexts especially in the State like Odisha. In this context a state level training programme on WASH during emergencies was organized by Inter Agency Group (IAG) Odisha, in collaboration with Christian Aid, CASA and Indian Red Cross Society Odisha State Branch on Thursday at Hotel Suryansh, Bhubaneswar.
The aim of the training was to develop the knowledgebase, attitude and skills in managing role of WASH within the wider emergency response context.It was attended by a wide array of individuals including the participants from variuos Grass-root level NGOs of 7 districts. The meeting was presided over by Dr. Chakradhar Panda Chairperson of IAG Odisha & Honorary Secretary of IRCS Odisha State Branch, and Dr. Dipankar Pattnaik, Regional Emergency Manager -South Asia of Christian Aid has inaugurated the programme as the Chief Guest,Dr. Kamal Lochan Mishra Cheief General Manger of Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Sri AkshyaBiswal, Regional Managerof Oxfam India, Miss. Sikha Nayak of Odisha State Water and Sanitation Mission and Miss. Anjana Guru of CRS were present as the Guest of Honor.
During the inaugural session all the speakers on the panel highlighted various aspects of the WASHmeasures during emergencies.During his speech Dr.Chakradhar Panda expressed that unless good hygiene is consistently practiced by affected people, the danger of diarrhea, cholera and other disease outbreaks will persist. By addressing the participant’s Dr. Dipankar Pattnaik said implementation appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions can help prevent and reduce transmission of water and sanitation-related diseases during emergencies. Dr. Pattnaik drew the attention of the participants on various measures of WASH during emergencies and stressed that WASH interventions address almost half of the precipitating secondary effects and contribute to preventing other problems from arising. By addressing the participants Sri Akshya Biswal said WASH concerns will help in the preservation of the dignity and the quality of life of people during emergencies. By sharing his views Dr.Kamal Lochan Mishra encouraged participants to work towards a disaster resilient Odisha.
The traing has also highlighted existing best practices on WASH during emergencies i.e- iron filter and pond filter etc. and also highlighted different strategies at the community level particularly.During the training session the WASH Experts had given the training on various aspects includingWASH roles in an emergency response context, Environment assessments for WASH implementation, Water quality tests and treatment techniques,WASH and the community: tools for communication and engagement etc. Mr. Manoranjan Behera, Coordinator of IAG Odisha coordinated the training and also offered the vote of thanks.