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India’s #Toilet Race Failing as Villages

Mon, 04Aug2014

India’s #Toilet Race Failing as Villages Don’t Use Them – Bloomberg http://ow.ly/zXbDs #sanitation

By Kartikay Mehrotra Aug 4, 2014 12:32 AM ET bloomberg.com

“….Targets for construction of toilets are somewhat irrelevant to resolving the sanitation problem,” said Yamini Aiyar, director of policy research group Accountability Initiative in New Delhi. “Building toilets does not mean that people will use them and there seems to be a host of cultural, social and caste-based reasons for that. People need to be taught the value of sanitation.”

In most cases, that isn’t happening. More than half of the country’s sanitation education budget since 1999 hasn’t been spent, according to the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation. In at least five of India’s poorest states, the majority of people in households with a government latrine don’t use it, according to a survey of 3,200 rural households by theResearch Institute for Compassionate Economics in the capital.

The government has set Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday in 2019 as its target for achieving “total sanitation,” including access to toilets for all 1.2 billion residents, Finance Minister Arun Jaitleysaid in his budget speech on July 10. While Jaitley doubled spending on new toilets to 40 billion rupees, the ratio of those funds that can be spent on information, education and communication, remains at 15 percent.


Photographer: Kartikay Mehrotra/Bloomberg

Sunita’s family toilet and a sign marking the government’s construction under their… Read More

 

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