The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)-led Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP), in collaboration with the Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Department and the Regional Directorate of Municipal Administration (RDMA) of the Government of Tamil Nadu, conducted region-level training workshops across Tamil Nadu to enhance inclusive sanitation practices. 

From 27 February to 5 March 2024, this workshop covered seven regions: Tirunelveli, Thanjavur, Madurai, Salem, Tiruppur, Vellore, and Chengalpattu. Titled “Interventions for Improving Fecal Sludge & Septage Management,” it targeted Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and rural blocks.

More than 700 officers participated, including Regional Directors of Municipal Administration, Regional Executive Engineers, Assistant Directors of Town Panchayats, Block Development Officers of Village Panchayats, Commissioners from Municipal Corporations and Municipalities, Executive Officers of Town Panchayats, Municipal Engineers, Sanitary Officers and Inspectors, among others. 

The workshop addressed themes such as fecal sludge treatment technology, governance mechanisms for sharing treatment facilities, and social inclusion in sanitation. Following training sessions, participants engaged in group discussions to address regional challenges and proposed improvement strategies. The workshop facilitated knowledge sharing among officers with expertise in Fecal Sludge Management (FSM).

Participants expressed commitment to sustaining progress, enhancing cluster operations, and improving treatment facility maintenance. The need for enhanced FSM monitoring, IT interventions, and regular desludging of Community and Public Toilets was emphasised. Ideas were exchanged to improve sanitation workers’ welfare through health camps and awareness sessions.

The training also served as a platform for collaborative action and peer learning aimed to enhance initiatives and promote overall welfare.