Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Health; Policies and interventions
- According to a new report by the Wash Institute (a non-profit organisation based out in Tamil Nadu), India was responsible for the largest drop in open defecation since 2015, in terms of absolute numbers.
- Open Defecation is practise of going out in fields, or other open spaces rather than using the toilet to defecate. It exposes women to the danger of physical attacks and poses health risk to children (vulnerability to diseases & Infection)
What were the findings of the Report?
- By 2016, open defecation had decreased in all states of India, with the largest drops seen in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
- Progress in curbing open defecation in sub-Saharan Africa was slow.
- Between 2016 and 2020, the global population with access to safely managed drinking water at home increased to 74%, from 70%.
- People faced challenges to maintain hygiene, especially in the context of the Covid-19
- 3 in 10 people worldwide could not wash their hands with soap and water at home during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lack of water resources.
What are some Government Initiatives?
- National rural sanitation strategy:
- 10-year Rural Sanitation Strategy starting from 2019 up to 2029.
- Lays down a framework for planning Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus status,
- Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen Phase-II:
- It emphasizes the sustainability of achievements under phase I and to provide adequate facilities for Solid/Liquid & plastic Waste Management (SLWM)
- ODF: At any point of the day, not even a single person is found defecating in the open.
- ODF+: At any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.
- ODF++: If the area is already ODF+ and the faecal sludge/septage and sewage are safely managed and treated