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Sustainable Sanitation For All

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA

Any reference to clean drinking water and safe human excreta and sewage disposal is sanitation. Over six hundred million people practice open air defecation even today. Three years of one’s life are spent in toilets. More than four lakh diarrhoea-related deaths are directly attributed to poor and inadequate sanitation. Children are the worst affected due to below-par sanitation. Diarrhoea kills more children than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Twenty years were added to the lifespan of human beings over two
centuries as a direct result of addition of toilets in their houses. Clean toilets, which are exclusively their own, is the first safe sanitation requisite for an individual.  Second, human excreta should not be allowed to come in contact with others. Third, human waste should be safely disposed of without coming or remaining in contact with soil and water. In brief, human waste has to be contained, transported, treated and disposed of safely. Toilets or latrines should be extremely hygienic and properly constructed to protect human beings from preventable, communicable diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid. “Leaving no one behind” is an appealing theme for the 2019 ‘Word Toilet day’ on
November 19. Clean and safe toilets are prerequisites for health, dignity, privacy and education. Toilets at homes form the backbones of human dignity. 
 Privacy to women cannot be overstressed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, on its agenda, some lofty goals that need to be fulfilled by 2030. Sustainable sanitation to all is one such goal. On World Toilet Day, the aim is to create public awareness on wastewater treatment, faecal sludge management, solid waste management and storm water management. Elimination of open defecation is one of the stated aims of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, launched in India on October 2, 2014.

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