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Public Awareness and Public Participation(PAPP)

Raising awareness about the environmental issues of any activity assists the stakeholders/individuals to understand the program thoroughly. The increased awareness facilitates participatory planning of environmental projects, active participation of the stakeholders/community as well as better transparency in project planning.

For JICA-assisted Ganga Action Plan Project (Varanasi) under NGRBA, which involves improvements in sewerage, and sanitation and hygiene, the role of public/community is important, as these relate to the community practices and their perceptions. The community is both responsible for the pollution, as well as one of the affected parties. Therefore, the stakeholders (including public/community) need to be made environmentally aware, to have their pro-active involvement in the Project.

During the primary assessment, it was revealed that there was lack of environmental awareness in slum communities. Based on earlier studies/surveys and the identified limited environmental awareness, this is considered to be an important Project need. Based on experience from similar projects, public awareness and public participation campaigns are important project activities (especially for the community residing along the banks of the River Ganga and the nalas leading to the River).

The focus of the public awareness and public participation activities are different for different target groups. The major focus of this intervention is directed toward slum populations and others living adjacent to the River Ganga, but a different (much broader) focus will be directed toward the entire population living in Varanasi City, as well as Pilgrims.

The focus will be to create awareness about improved solid waste management, reduced open defecation, reduced introduction of pollutants into the River Ganga, sanitation management and environmental aspects of the River Ganga, including specific watch dog activities. Whereas, focus of PAPP in slums and adjacent to Ganga River is to create awareness, as well as to develop the community for public participation even to a level of management of some of the project interventions (like community toilets, etc.). This role will be in addition to the identified watch dog activities.