Building community driven approaches to address the community needs for safer water, sanitation and safety from the risks of disasters

Project Building community driven approaches to address the community needs for safer water, sanitation and safety from the risks of disasters

• To train new trainers on community led ‘Total Sanitation’ improvements • To mobilise local groups, Community Based Organisations (CBO) and volunteers to build community-led approaches on water and sanitation (WASH) • To facilitate community health outreach programmes to address the needs of the vulnerable groups • To enhance the knowledge and skills of the schools and communities in general on health and water hazards and increasing coping capacities post-disaster • To operate a health centre to provide medical services and outreach programmes for WASH

Project Partners SEEDS

• Primary healthcare services • Maternal and child health services • Training of trainers on community led water and sanitation • Training and capacity building of the voluntary groups and CBOs • Participatory risk assessment of the villages • School Safety and Disaster Preparedness • Developing Joint Action Plans for the village community • Developing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials for the communities

Locations Biratpur, Saharsa District, Bihar, India
Period 1 January 2012 to 31 May 2013

• More than 11,777 patients were treated at the Biratpur Health Centre (BHC) • More than 85 community outreach programmes were carried out in surrounding villages and was attended by more than 2,804 beneficiaries


MERCY Malaysia started relief efforts in Bihar immediately after the floods in 2008. Mobile clinics were set up and a static health centre was opened in Biratpur, Saharsa District: in partnership with SEEDS. Biratpur Health Centre (BHC) has functioned for the past 2 years and catering to the medical needs of the most vulnerable communities in the area. Community outreach programmes are carried out to generate awareness amongst the communities on vital issues such as family planning, water and sanitation, reproductive health, immunisation, teenage pregnancy and nutrition during pregnancy. BHC is the nerve centre of the community, as it makes basic health care accessible to the whole local community. MERCY Malaysia and SEEDS have successfully moved from the relief phase of Total Disaster Risk Management (TDRM) to the recovery phase. We are now focused on the rehabilitation of the communities by focusing the health hazards, with a special emphasis on the healthcare needs of women and children.

MERCY Malaysia efforts

To further improve the BHC’s core primary health services, MERCY Malaysia and SEEDS began the implementation of community led Total Sanitation, which focuses on water and sanitation improvements. The Total Sanitation programme advocates for a change of behaviour in how the villagers analyse and take action on their sanitation and waste situation. The programme encourage collective decision making processes to stop open defecation in public places. The health outreach programmes reached out to schools, where they were trained in safe water and sanitation practices and school safety; thereby reducing their risks towards any future disasters. Health outreach programmes were provided to the surrounding communities where communities created a comprehensive village disaster management plan and on safe water, sanitation and hygiene practises.