By Sanjay Banka
Sanitation facilities in many developing countries, such as India, are alarmingly poor. According to the World Health Organization, 2.4 billion people do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines. Of these, 946 million defecate in the open.
Of the nearly 1 billion who defecate in the open, India is home to 600 million people (half of the country’s population) who have no access to toilets. People are forced to defecate in the open.
This poses health hazards, raises environmental concerns, and leads to water contamination. This is coupled with the Indian Railways’s open-chute toilet system wherein the human waste drops on the rail tracks. Untreated fecal matter lying in the open is a grave threat to the well-being and good health of the society and the environment and a threat to sustainable living.
This post is part of the “SDG Solutions” series hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Global Daily, and +SocialGood to raise awareness of ways the international community can advance, and is advancing, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. As the international community prepares to gather at the UN for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from July 10-19, this series will share ideas and examples of action. Previous posts in the series can be found here.