Skip to main content

Total sanitation: UNICEF-WHO report indicts India, says poorest sections have seen "very little" improvement

By Our Representative
In a major indictment of India’s effort to achieve total sanitation, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have said in a report that in a report that the country has failed to fight open defecation among its poorest sections of people (click HERE for chart). Pointing out that the “progress among the poorest has been slower” in the entire southern Asian region, the report underlines, “In India there has been very little change over the last 20 years.”
The countries that form part of the southern Asian region, according the UNICEF-WHO report, are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. At the same time, the report says, “All countries achieved significant reductions amongst the richest, and three countries succeeded in eliminating open defecation among this group.” It adds, “Bangladesh is the only country in the region where progress has been faster among the poorest and the gap has been reduced.”
The 90-page report, titled “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation – 2015 update and MDG”, the result of WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), which began in 1990. In 2000, the member states of the United Nations signed the Millennium Declaration, which later gave rise to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the MDGs was the target challenging the global community to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
Even as noting that in the Southern Asia region, where the number of open defecators is highest, has made “significant improvements”, “Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan have all achieved reductions of more than 30 percentage points since 1990”, there India’s “31 per cent reduction in open defecation in represents 394 million people”, significantly influencing “regional and global estimates”, the report notes, “Despite significant progress, much still remains to be done.”
In fact, the report’s data show, India’s 31 per cent reduction in open defecation from 75 per cent in 1990 to 44 in 2015 stands out in sharp contrast to Pakistan, which reduced it from 49 to 13 per cent; Bangladesh, which reduced it from 34 per cent to 1 per cent; and Nepal, which reduced it from 88 to 32 per cent; Sri Lanka, which reduced it from 13 per cent to 0 per cent. In China, open defecation was just 7 per cent in 1990, which went down to 1 per cent in 2015.
The report says that India’s progress towards MDG target – of achieving 50 per cent improvement in sanitation by 2015 – has been “moderate”. In fact, it calculates, between 1990 and 2015, India was able to improve sanitation facilities only by 28 per cent, compared to Pakistan 50 per cent, Nepal 43 per cent, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka 38 per cent, and China 37 per cent. Thus, while Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China have already “met target”, the report says, Bangladesh and Nepal have made “good progress”.
Even as quantifying progress of all countries in the world towards achieving total sanitation goals, the report does not, however, give any explanation why the progress in some countries has been “poor”, “moderate” while in others it is “good.” Nor is there any explanation as to why the poorest sections, for instance, in India, have seen very little progress in achieving sanitation goals.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.