Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and WASH Institute
lead innovative sanitation project in India by aiming for sustainable sanitation solutions in flooded areas, to reduce human vulnerability
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) grants three-year project support to sustainable sanitation in flooded areas in Bihar, India. The project is lead by Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden, in collaboration with WASH Institute, India, and focuses on sustainable sanitation solutions in areas exposed to recurring
flooding. Bihar is the most flood-prone State in India with more than 22 % of India’s flood affected population.
Improved sanitation systems are of vital for reducing human vulnerability, especially with annual flooding. Current assessment indicates that less than 25 percent of Bihar’s population usage sanitation services. The coverage has to increase and the functionality of sanitation systems – especially during flood – must improve.
More than half of the world’s open defecators live in India, leading to water-borne diseases, incl. Diarrhoea which annually causes the death of 387 000 children under the age five. A recent Water & Sanitation Programme, World Bank, report establishes that inadequate sanitation costs India the equivalent of 6.4% of GDP. Key Indian Government program to curb this alarming situation is the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC). Thus, India’s newly established Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is tasked to end open defecation nationwide. Recent amendment to the TSC Guidelines lays the basis for sustainable solutions by now including ecological sanitation (ecosan).
The current project will raise awareness and attempt to resolve problems that silently inflict millions of individuals, due to annually recurring floods or catastrophes that come with unexpected torrential flooding. It gives attention to gender-
related issues, including women’s’ dignity and menstruation hygiene management. In time, the aim is to connect with disaster risk reduction and emergency and reconstruction communities in India and worldwide.
The international community embraces sanitation efforts through the Millennium Development Goal agenda and the UN Secretary-General’s “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015” is an initiative based on a 2010 UN General Assembly resolution calling upon the UN member states to “redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap”. The MDG Target re sanitation is lagging far behind. Without urgent and concerted global action, it will be out of reach. Urgent effort is needed to improve functionality of sanitation services for protection of human health and environmental assets. Action is required from experts, governments, industry, practitioners, researchers, and media so that individuals can attain suitable and functional solutions to serve their sanitation needs. Sustainable sanitation with a clear link to agriculture and food production will contribute to improved human dignity and health, protection of ecosystems, food security, enhanced livelihoods and ultimately poverty eradication. Suitable sanitation solutions for people exposed to flooding is of utmost importance, especially for women and infants and other vulnerable segments of society.
For further information, please contact:
Cecilia Ruben – Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Prakash Kumar – WASH Institute, India
Rajive Ranjan – WASH Institute, India
Background information: Projet background: sei-international.org/news-and-media/1918 TSC Guidelilens: www.ddws.gov.in/sites/upload_files/ddws/files/pdf/TSC%20GUIDELINES%20-%20JULY%202011.pdf
YouTube interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M6RRqA587o
Stockholm Environment Institute is an independent international research institute. SEI aims to bring about change for sustainable development by bridging science and policy. http://www.sei-international.org & http://www.ecosanres.org
WASH Institute bridges the knowledge gap for sustainable community based solutions regarding water, sanitation and hygiene. http://www.washinstitute.org/