Water & Sanitation
LANCET’s study on the causes of neonatal and child mortality in India in 2010 states that, “For children aged 1-5 years, two causes accounted for 50% of all deaths: pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.” WHO states that “80% of diarrheal deaths are caused as a result of poor quality of water, sanitation and hygiene.” They are also closely linked to pneumonia, which is the leading cause of mortality. According to a study conducted by WaterAid in 2008, proper disposal of excreta and hand washing with soap leads to a combined relative diarrhea risk reduction of 65%.
Mahatma Gandhi when said that “Sanitation is more important that political freedom” he was very much aware of the criticality of sanitation and hygiene in the life of human beings. Despite of large toilet construction programs for rural India, there are gaps in achievements. The 2011 census shows that 69.2% rural households in India are without toilets, in which 77.15% and 84.2% are SC and ST communities respectively. Swatch Bharath Mission targets to achieve open defecation free status by 2019; therefore, CNI SBSS is working on creating demand for sanitation informing users about Swatch Bharath Mission and helping PRIs and departments in successful implementation of Swatch Bharath Mission.
Sanitation is closely linked with availability of safe drinking water and it is crucial to look at water, sanitation and hygiene together to ensure health benefits for people. While access to water is a big issue, water quality needs to be monitored to ensure that water is also safe for drinking. National Rural Drinking Water Programme was launched in 2009 to ensure adequate and safe drinking water supply to all rural households and persons. Therefore, CNI SBSS is working to orient people on water quality, water security planning and policy provisions. Simultaneously, efforts are made to help government functionaries and PRI representatives in delivering their role more effectively.
CNI SBSS is working with Dalit and Tribal communities in 100 revenue villages to ensure access to safe drinking water within 500mts of households and to ensure access and use of toilet facilities by all the households