848 million Indians do not have access to clean drinking water and toilets. States like Orissa and West Bengal have the highest number of people without access to sanitation facilities. India’s poor sanitary predicament costs the country 54 billion dollars annually.
The consumption of unsafe water coupled with unsanitary living conditions, leads to contraction of water borne diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea, SARS and Hepatitis A. Diarrhea alone kills 1600 Indians every day.
In order to understand the intertwining of water, sanitation and hygiene, and therefore the biggest problem these pose to India, one must understand the lopsided development in the nation. Not all parts of India have clean sewage facilities. In fact, nearly 80 percent of sewage from Indian cities flows into clean water systems. To add to this problem, nearly 300 million of India’s 1.2 billion people, defecate openly, leading to extreme contamination of water and improper (to say the least) disposal of feces. It is the amalgamation of these problems and little to no awareness on the treatment of unsafe water (such as boiling it), which leads to the contraction of several diseases and an increase in malnutrition amongst children.
– Excerpts from chaiwithlakshmi.in Read more