- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released, a Joint Monitoring Programme report titled, “Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities”.
- According to the report, India has made significant progress in providing basic sanitation facilities since 2000. India accounts for two thirds of the 650 million people globally who stopped practising open defecation between 2000 and 2017.
- India’s Swachh Bharat mission has been an example and inspiration to other countries. Swachh Bharat Mission is a massive mass movement that seeks to achieve Clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2019. Currently, it is under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- Further, India has increased the percentage of its population with access to a protected drinking water source less than 30 minutes away, from 79% in 2000 to 93% in 2017.
- However, the percentage of households getting piped water has remained stagnant at 44% between 2000 and 2017.
- The report further notes that 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely-managed drinking water, while 4.2 billion go without safe sanitation services and three billion lack basic hand washing facilities.
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