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Access to clean water key to reducing waterborne diseases in India

Access to clean water key to reducing waterborne diseases in India

India is the second-most populous country in the world housing a whopping 1.39 billion people.

India is the second-most populous country in the world housing a whopping 1.39 billion people. This also makes the country one of the worst impacted by the lack of sanitation facilities and access to safe drinking water.

A majority of districts in the country are hit by severe water shortages and the absence of management for water conservation worsens the crisis. Lack of access to clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities are significant factors behind the water-borne diseases and fatalities in India.

According to the UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene 2017 Annual report waterborne diseases have an estimated economic burden of around (Rs 4500 cr) a year in India. Lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation for a large section of population also vitiates the situation in the country.

According to a recent WHO report, along with diarrhoea, chemical contamination of ground and surface water, from natural contaminants such as arsenic and fluoride or industrial pollutants such as nitrate, contributes to around 5% of the total disease burden in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) ‘India: Health of the Nation’s States Report’ (2017) showed that the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha and Assam had a high burden of waterborne diseases.

Groundwater levels are fast depleting in the country since the country is the biggest extractor of groundwater. A considerable rise in drilling over the last few decades can be attributed to this problem. Access to clean drinking water to ensure the sound health of citizens is also among the top priorities of the Indian government.

The Central government under the Jal Jeevan Mission, which was launched in 2019, has so far provided tap water connections to around 8.31 crore of the total 19.22 crore rural households. Though this is a significant progress the government has a long way to go in achieving the complete target under this Rs 3.5 trillion programme.

Mission Paani, an initiative by News 18 and Harpic India, will amplify and consolidate efforts towards achieving hygiene and access to safe drinking water for every Indian.

Mission Paani, an initiative by News 18 and Harpic India, plays a leading role in spreading awareness regarding best hygiene and water management practices.

You can be part of this revolution too, and join the Mission Paani initiative. For more information log on to Mission Paani and join the Movement.

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