Itanagar: Kabu, the cleanest village in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, is setting an example for others in the pretty Northeastern state to follow. The way the villagers work together to keep the hamlet clean is praiseworthy, to say the least.
When this EastMojo correspondent visited Kabu village recently, it was enthralling to see how the dwellers have accepted cleanliness as a way of life.
All the houses have functional, clean toilets since 2013. There are dustbins set up all over the village. Young ones are being taught to put wrappers and wastes in the dustbins and people use traditional bamboo baskets to make the village plastic-free. There are few set of rules and the locals follow them sincerely.
“In 1999, when the whole of the village was suffering from malaria and typhoid, officials from the health department came to our village and helped us vastly. Then we realised that the disease broke out because we never were serious about cleanliness and allowed animals, especially pigs, to roam freely on the village streets,” said head ‘gaon bura’ (village elder) Tuli Loya.
“Faecal matter or the animal wastes contaminated the area and made so many villagers sick. Finally, after several meetings, a notice was put out for the villagers to keep pigs in captivity and also clean the surroundings regularly,” said Loya.
Few of the villagers were reluctant on the new set of cleanliness rules, so another notice for shooting the stray animals were given to the villagers. Eventually, the villagers understood the role of cleanliness, Loya said.
He also said that since 2013, they have been trying to keep the hamlet’s periphery clean and after the announcement of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by the current government, dustbins were installed throughout the village and the dwellers clean the village every week.
The womenfolk of the village took the lead and they are doing so till date, Loya added.
Since 2016, the women of the village have been cleaning the entire village on a particular Saturday every month, said Kenbi Loya Loyi, one of the active women volunteers. “We feel good about the fact that our village has been awarded the cleanest village in the district,” said Loyi.
Kabu village is located in Aalo tehsil of West Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh. It is situated 4 km from Aalo, which is both district & sub-divisional headquarters. Kabu has a total population of 580 people and there are about 110 houses in the village. Aalo is the nearest town.