Swachh Bharat has Led to Reduced Ground Water Contamination: Study by UNICEF

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By admin June 10, 2019 16:48

Swachh Bharat has Led to Reduced Ground Water Contamination: Study by UNICEF

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Two independent third-party studies conducted on the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), have released their findings on the positive impact the Swachh Bharat Mission has had on the environment of rural India.

These studies, commissioned by UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates, were aimed at assessing the environmental impact and communication footprint of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) respectively.

Summary of the study findings

Environmental Impact study by UNICEF

Under the “Environmental impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission on Water, Soil, and Food” by UNICEF, groundwater samples were collected and studied from ODF and non-ODF villages of Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal. The study found that, in terms of faecal contamination, non-ODF villages were, on average:

  • 11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated
  • 1.13 times more likely to have their soil contaminated
  • 1.48 times more likely to have food contaminated and 2.68 times more likely to have household drinking water contaminated

The study findings indicated that these substantial reductions may potentially be attributed to the improvement in sanitation and hygiene practices, as well as support systems such as regular monitoring and behaviour change messaging, which have all been critical aspects of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).

IEC (Information, Education & Communication) footprint study by Gates Foundation

The “Assessment of the reach and value of IEC activities under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen)” conducted by Dalberg, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, estimated the scale of IEC activities within the Mission and assessed associated monetary and in-kind costs, and outputs such as reach. The study found that:

  • SBM mobilized a spend equivalent worth INR 22,000 to 26,000 crores in monetary and non-monetary IEC activities.
  • An average person living in rural India was exposed to between 2,500 – 3,300 SBM related messages over the last five years.

 

In 2018, WHO in a study had estimated that the Swachh Bharat Mission will save over 3 lakh lives by the time India is Open Defecation Free.

 

About

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) launched on 2nd October 2014, by modifying the erstwhile Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), is a community-led and people-oriented programme aimed at universalizing safe sanitation.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is only sanitation programme implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • It seeks to improve the levels of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making Gram Panchayats Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.
  • The effectiveness of the Programme is predicated upon generating demand for toilets leading to their construction and sustained use by all the household members.
  • Rural sanitation coverage in the country had crossed the 99% mark with 30 States and Union Territories having declared themselves free from open defecation.

Open Defecation Free (ODF)

  • Open Defecation Free (ODF) has been defined as:
    • No visible faeces found in the environment/village
    • Every household as well as public/community institutions using safe technology option for disposal of faeces
  • ODF – A city/ward can be notified/declared as ODF city/ ODF ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
  • ODF+ – A city / ward / work circle can be notified/declared as SBM ODF+ city/ SBM ODF+ ward/SBM ODF+ work circle if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, AND all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained.
  • ODF++ – A city / ward / work circle can be notified/ declared as SBM ODF++ city/ SBM ODF++ ward/ SBM ODF++ work circle if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/ or urinating in the open, all community and public toilets are functional and well maintained, AND faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.

 

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By admin June 10, 2019 16:48