Hexagon Geospatial’s technology is helping an Indian city resolve its poor sanitation and provide a better life to the less affluent communities.

Lack of adequate sanitation is a major cause of deaths and diseases in a developing country like India. Poor sanitation not only adversely affects the quality of water and environment, but also has economic consequences and harmful effects on physical and mental well-being of the citizens. While there are many active developments focused on improving the infrastructure of more affluent areas, many of the informal settlements remain some of the most neglected vicinities. In the Indian state of Maharashtra alone, more than 11 million people are affected by open defecation.

Although along with inadequate sanitation, inadequate data was also a looming problem.

Limitations of conventional system

Solution

Enter Hexagon Geospatial

To overcome this challenge, SA opted to link the collected data with a GIS-based platform, which could be accessed and analyzed in detail — it would facilitate data representation and identify the gaps in delivery of sanitation. Shelter Associates turned to Hexagon Geospatial’sGeoMedia as an apt solution. GeoMedia is a comprehensive and dynamic GIS, which extracts powerful intelligence from geospatial data and integrates it to present actionable information. It links the queries together and view dynamically updated results as data changes.

The Shelter Associates’ GIS team digitized all the houses and drainage lines on GeoMedia. The map with combined geographic data from different sources is integrated onto a GIS platform. Several layers viz. sewer access locations, gutter lines, garbage bins, roads, water stand posts, taps, and community toilet blocks are then added. The household-level data obtained from Rapid Household Surveys (RHS) is attached to the digitized data. Following which the SA GIS team builds complex queries of the data, checking whether all houses on map are numbered, measuring proximity to water supply and drainage, identifying the occupancy of the structures, identifying the location of waste collection. This spatial data on analysis, gives rise to a comprehensive real time dataset which helps in targeting urban informal settlements strategically for carrying out interventions.

Outcome: UN Sustainability Goal 6

Hexagon Geospatial’sGeoMedia efficient utilization of spatial data has helped Shelter Associates in mapping informal settlements lacking household sanitation and studies the existing drainage networks.

It has also facilitated in creating data on an open platform, allowing it to be analysed and studied by both Shelter Associates and the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for the first time. After the analysis, it is published on Google Earth enabling open viewership for everyone.

This data provides a useful planning tool to devise strategies for delivering sanitation solutions over a period of time and make budgetary provisions accordingly. The detailed data of each city where SA has been carrying out its interventions such as: Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Sangli, Kolhapur, Navi Mumbai and Thane have been helping the respective city administration to plan their budgets for identifying, planning and adding/repairing/augmenting drainage lines.

Benefits

Provides precision, accuracy and cross querying tools which enables the integration of data effectively

1. Efficiently coordinates community mobilization activities, monitors and tracks the toilet construction processes

2. Provides a portable dataset, speeds up the entire processes and results in on time delivery of the project

3. Flexible and open architecture adds transparency for the funders