UNICEF Report On Sanitation, Drinking Water And Hygiene

  • 18 Jun 2019

On 18th June, a Joint Monitoring Programme Report by UN organizations on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene has been released by the UNICEF.

Relevance of the News: The report has highlighted the status of sanitation and drinking water availability in India. It evaluates the status of the government efforts in these domains and future areas of focus.

Highlights of the Report:

Positive Achievements of India:

  • India has made great gains in providing basic sanitation facilities since the start of the millennium. India accounts for almost two thirds of the 650 million people globally who stopped practicing open defecation between 2000 and 2017.
  • The South Asian region, including India, accounted for almost three-fourths of the population who stopped defecating in the open between 2000 and 2017.
  • Of the 2.1 billion people who gained access to basic sanitation services over this time period globally, 486 million are Indians.
  • India has increased the percentage of its population with access to a protected drinking water source less than 30 minutes away, from 79% in 2000 to 93% in 2017.

Areas of Concern for India as per the Report:

  • There has been absolutely no growth in the population with access to piped water facilities between 2000 and 2017.Households getting piped water supply have remained stagnant at 44% over the 17-year period.
  • Large inequalities exist between rural and urban areas when it comes to access to piped water facility.
  • India does not have the ability to treat and dispose of safely the large amounts of solid and liquid waste being produced by millions of toilets constructed under Swachch Bharat Mission.
  • Only 30% of the India’s wastewater is treated at plants providing at least secondary treatment, in comparison to an 80% global average.
  • According to the report, the Right to Sanitation implies not only the right to a hygienic toilet but also the right of not being negatively affected by unmanaged faecal waste. This is most relevant to poor and marginalized groups who tend to be the major victims of other people’s unmanaged faecal sludge and sewage.