January 19

Analysis: What a Waste: Reviving India’s Sanitation Systems

By Mahesh Nathan

Toilets are crucial for the healthy development of people and the holistic development of children. Nearly 1.04 million under-five child deaths in the country are attributed to poor sanitation and water-related issues.

The last decade has seen a massive push for improved sanitation in India and the progress has been significant with almost millions of the population now having access to toilets.

However, to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India, much focus was earlier being given to ‘before the flush’ in the value chain through big campaigns such as the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission (SBM), than the internal mechanisms of sanitation systems. The stages from emptying to safe reuse or disposal now deserve attention, resources and awareness.

Sanitation systems in our country have always been designed for years with one unfortunate assumption: That human labour would always be available to service. This is a fundamental issue and brings up challenges on many facades.

Photo courtesy of Shamsheer Yousaf.

Source: DownToEarth (link opens in a new window)

sanitation, waste, water