Solid or Liquid Waste mean any material or liquid that is left over after productive use or which is beyond any use in its current form and is generally discarded as unwanted [in terms of the World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme (2012)]. Such materials or liquid have strong potential of recycling them for as resource for productive use. The organic matters such as leaves, branches, vegetable wastes etc. decompose to form manure. Solid and liquid waste management means effective management of solid and liquid wastes such that the environment of an area is kept clean at all times with community participation and administrative initiatives.
SLWM is a very challenging task because solid and liquid wastes are not limited to domestic activities in villages and communities. Industries which are located in rural areas may severely impact the local environment owing to improper SLWM or limited focus on SLWM. Institutions related to education or health sector are also facing SLWM challenges. Apathy of local bodies, absence of community participation, non-storage of wastes at source, absence of a system of primary collection from the doorstep, irregular street sweeping, waste storage depots, transportation of waste are the major issues that remain unresolved. These lead to serious problems including water borne diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, dengue, cholera, polio and typhoid. It is estimated that people in rural India are generating 0.3 to 0.4 million metric tons of organic/recyclable solid waste per day and that 88% of the total disease burden is due to a lack of clean water, sanitation and improper solid waste management (Government of India, 2008).
In 1986 the Government of India started a new programme to encounter the said issue named Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP). In 1999, the Government of India adopted a reward scheme, Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP), for achieving total sanitation coverage in a Gram Panchayat. In 2003, CRSP was renamed as Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) and it was further renamed as “Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” (NBA) in 2012 with a strong focus on prompting behaviour change to eliminate open defecation. Subsequently, as sanitation coverage has increased and the number of open defecation free (ODF) villages has grown, the focus of the NBA was widened to include issues such as waste management in rural areas. The SLWM task has been accelerated through a totally new programme named ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ known as ‘Mission Nirmal Bangla’ in West Bengal. The work of SLWM was accepted in this new programme in West Bengal to make a clean Bengal. This initiative is currently linked with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). If SLWM can be implemented successfully, it has the potential of improving the environment of an area and also the quality of life of the poor people in the area in a sustainable manner.
“AAMRA SUSAMA JALAPRAPAT” is presently working in West Bengal as a support organisationat different levels, mainly to capacitatePanchayats and Municipalities for handling Solid & Liquid Waste Management (SLWM)professionally and to make all SLWM initiatives economically sustainable.