Tag Archives: India

Can you spend too much on sanitation?

The decision to divert funding from water to sanitation turned sour when drought struck India.

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Ledger. Uttarakhand, India. Photo: IRC

A budget tracking study in India revealed that the shift of policy focus from water to sanitation has resulted in a cut in government spending on rural water supply. This was a cause of concern because at the time of the study (August-December 2015) six of the seven states reviewed were reeling under severe drought.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee report released on 6 May 2016 stated that the government would be unable to achieve its 2017 target of providing 50% rural households with piped water. The media accused the government of starving the National Rural Drinking Water Programme of funds, while at the same time increasing funding for Prime Minister Modi’s flagship sanitation programme “Swachh Bharat”. The government has even introduced an additional 0.5% “Swachh Bharat” service tax.

The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) is presenting their budget tracking study on 26 July 2016 in Delhi as part of the WASH Dialogues series of events. WASH Dialogues are an initiative of IRC and TARU Leading Edge. CBGA’s presentation will focus on the institutional and procedural bottlenecks that are constraining public expenditure in the water and sanitation sector.

For more information on the event “Tracking policy and budgetary commitments for drinking water and sanitation in the new fiscal architecture in India” go the IRC Events page.

For more on budget tracking see:

This news item was originally published on the IRC website.

The Dawn of a Sanitation Revolution in India – World Bank

The sanitation campaign in India is helping Rajasthan become a top performing state in ending open defecation. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan declared sanitation as one of the state’s top development priorities, with a target of eliminating open defecation by 2018.

To bring this vision to fruition, an innovative Community Led Total Sanitation Campaign (CLTS) was launched in many districts with the leadership of district collectors.

The approach focuses on crucial issues: Behavior Change and Demand Creation. From Health Centers, to Schools, to door-to-door visits, the message of sanitation and hygiene was effectively communicated.

Health is blooming, one home at a time. One village at a time. And Rajasthan is on course to becoming open defecation free.

USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million

USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million | Source: Christian Holmes/USAID, Global Waters, June 27, 2016 |

At USAID we recognize the threat poor sanitation combined with rapid urbanization presents to human health, dignity, and prosperity. This is why we have made urban sanitation a global priority for the Agency. During a recent visit to India, I was able to see some of the work being done to bring sanitation services to urban areas, and had the good fortune to meet some inspiring women who are advancing these efforts in their communities.

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USAID Global Water Coordinator Christian Holmes visits with young students at a Vizag municipal school. Children also have a role to play as change agents in ending open defecation in their communities. Their school is now the number one-ranked Swachh Bharat school in the entire city, and its students’ academic performance has improved considerably. Photo Credit: USAID/India

Currently, more than 300 million people live in India’s urban areas, a number that is quickly increasing. The growing population of city dwellers is straining the country’s ability to provide safe drinking water and sanitation services.

To address this, the Government of India has committed to providing sanitation and household toilet facilities for all 4,041 cities in India through Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Campaign.

India’s commitment to this effort is vital. Close to 600 million people in the country practice open defecation, which contaminates water and can spread diseases. Lack of access to sanitation can keep people from productive activities such as work and school, either due to illness or time spent searching for private, safe locations to defecate. In India, it is estimated this lack of access results in an annual economic loss of approximately $54 billion or 6.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Read the complete article.

3 steps to improve rural sanitation in India – a pathway to scale and sustainability

3 steps to improve rural sanitation in India – a pathway to scale and sustainability | Source: World Bank Water Blog, July 7 2016 |

Almost 600 million Indians living in rural areas defecate in the open. To meet the ambitious targets of the Indian government’s Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM (G)) – the rural clean India mission – plans to eliminate open defecation by 2019.

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Child using a latrine in Rajasthan. Photo credit: World Bank

SBM (G) is time-bound with a stronger results orientation, targeting the monitoring of both outputs (access to sanitation) and outcomes (usage). There is also a stronger focus on behavior change interventions and states have been accorded greater flexibility to adopt their own delivery mechanisms.

The World Bank has provided India with a US$1.5 billion loan and embarked on a technical assistance program to support the strengthening of SBM-G program delivery institutions at the national level, and in select states in planning, implementing and monitoring of the program.

Read the complete article.

India – 328 children below 5 die of diarrhoea daily

India – 328 children below 5 die of diarrhoea daily | Source: Times of India, July 11 2016 |

NEW DELHI: Around 328 children under 5 years of age die of diarrhoea every day, latest assessment by the health ministry shows. This has prompted the ministry to intensify its diarrhoea control programme to reach out to over 10 crore children with ORS solution this year from 6.3 crore last year.

Estimates show that over 1.2 lakh children less than five years of age succumb to diarrhoea every year. The primary reasons for diarrhoeal attacks among children are contaminated water and food, malnutrition, inadequate sanitation and lack of immunization. Diarrhoeal deaths are usually clustered in summer and monsoon months

Read the complete article.

Handwashing, sanitation and family planning practices are the strongest underlying determinants of child stunting in rural India

Handwashing, sanitation and family planning practices are the strongest underlying determinants of child stunting in rural indigenous communities of Jharkhand and Odisha, Eastern India: a cross-sectional study. Maternal & Child Nutrition, June 2016.

Authors: Jennifer Saxton, Shibanand Rath, et. al.

The World Health Organisation has called for global action to reduce child stunting by 40% by 2025. One third of the world’s stunted children live in India, and children belonging to rural indigenous communities are the worst affected. We sought to identify the strongest determinants of stunting among indigenous children in rural Jharkhand and Odisha, India, to highlight key areas for intervention.

We analysed data from 1227 children aged 6–23.99 months and their mothers, collected in 2010 from 18 clusters of villages with a high proportion of people from indigenous groups in three districts. We measured height and weight of mothers and children, and captured data on various basic, underlying and immediate determinants of undernutrition. We used Generalised Estimating Equations to identify individual determinants associated with children’s height-for-age z-score (HAZ; p < 0.10); we included these in a multivariable model to identify the strongest HAZ determinants using backwards stepwise methods.

In the adjusted model, the strongest protective factors for linear growth included cooking outdoors rather than indoors (HAZ +0.66), birth spacing ≥24 months (HAZ +0.40), and handwashing with a cleansing agent (HAZ +0.32). The strongest risk factors were later birth order (HAZ −0.38) and repeated diarrhoeal infection (HAZ −0.23).

Our results suggest multiple risk factors for linear growth faltering in indigenous communities in Jharkhand and Odisha. Interventions that could improve children’s growth include reducing exposure to indoor air pollution, increasing access to family planning, reducing diarrhoeal infections, improving handwashing practices, increasing access to income and strengthening health and sanitation infrastructure.

Peeing in public still a concern, Modi seeks changes in Swachh Bharat campaign

Peeing in public still a concern, Modi seeks changes in Swachh Bharat campaign | Source: Hindustan Times, June 23 2016 |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spotted a gap in his Swachh Bharat campaign: the grotesque but common sight of men urinating in public places.

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The PM’s point was that the earlier tagline – “Making Cities Open Defecation Free” – did not adequately reflect the challenge of public urination across the country. (HT file photo)

Modi has told the Union urban development (UD) ministry to ensure that the government’s outreach doesn’t just focus on open defecation in cities but target urination in public places as well. As the first step, the PM has asked the ministry to change the nomenclature of the campaign’s tagline. In line with the PM’s directive following a meeting on June 1 to review the progress of Swachh Bharat Mission, the ministry has set the ball rolling to call its campaign “Open Urination and Defecation Free Cities by 2019”.

The PM’s point, a senior government official who attended the meeting said, was that the earlier tagline – “Making Cities Open Defecation Free” – did not adequately reflect the challenge of public urination across the country.

Read the complete article.