Despite India’s booming economy, water insecurity and poor water quality remains a major cause of child mortality and morbidity, especially among the poor. India lost more than 600,000 children under 5 in 2010 due to WASH ( Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) related diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia. The ‘Water in India – Situation and Prospects’ report by UNICEF and FAO takes a deeper look at the state of the water sector in India.
Issues - The marginalized and poor are the hardest hit. They have to use unprotected water sources, are deprived of access to drinking water sources and water quality is poor which has impact on their health
Issues - Water quality problems pose serious issues and need to be addressed immediately. Fifty per cent of rural water supplies are at risk from bacteriological contamination and above normal levels of fluoride and arsenic affecting millions of people in India. India lost more than 600,000 children under 5 in 2010 due to WASH related diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia.
Key Messages - Water has to be looked at from a more holistic and integrated perspective. These issues can be tackled with a sharp and forward-looking vision for the governance of water. There is a strong need for convergence of laws and legislations and synchronization between various departments dealing with water.
Key Messages - Gender understanding is seen as a key pre-requisite for water programming and so better data is needed in this area. The data collection must incorporate these concerns for policy makers to be informed about the change processes and find sustainable solutions.
Learning from Examples – The positive changes brought about by small communities in terms of water conservation and management are highlighted in the report. These changes were brought about by the active participation and involvement of communities in finding solutions along with strong political will for change and focus on positive impact