Fiinovation believes that without WASH, sustainable development is impossible.
Online PR News – 13-February-2015 – New Delhi – Water and Sanitation have been one of the crucial aspects of ensuring environmental sustainability. Many countries are yet to have 100% access to safe drinking water from an improved source and have 100% access to basic sanitation facilities. Though many have national policies that support the provision of sanitation and drinking-water focusing on addressing inequalities, yet, the question remains on how these policies are being implemented and monitored. According to UN, national policies on water and sanitation do exist in majority of the countries but only a few nations have fully funded, implemented and reviewed these. In order to curb hygiene issues, provide safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities, the United Nations started the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programmes in more than 100 countries. Fiinovation believes that without WASH, sustainable development is impossible.
Among 93 countries that are implementing WASH, over 80% have approved national policies on Water and Sanitation. However, only 23% account for sanitation and 30% account for drinking water plans that are being funded, implemented and reviewed completely. It has been a struggle for most of the countries to implement and fund the initiatives planned under Water and Sanitation policies. Less than 20% of 93 countries have reported not having policies related to Water and Sanitation. It has been observed that countries aspire to have services and facilities that are of higher and sustained levels. Fiinovation believes that countries aspire to have sanitation facilities includes connection to treatment facilities and/or the safe management of faecal sludge through hygienic collection and disposal of waste from on-site sanitation facilities. India can also follow a few countries which promote hygiene and facilitate training and education of households, communities and organizations related to health, hygiene and sanitation.
Fiinovation understands the fact that less than 40% countries among 93 countries where WASH is being implemented have universal coverage target in terms of safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. Given the current rate of providing sanitation facilities in rural areas, it can be said that the MDG sanitation target cannot be achieved.
Looking at the present scenario, it can be said that countries need to focus more on drafting plans that ensure universal coverage of drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. There should be more focus on implementation of the proposed policies and national plans and also have a mechanism in place for regular monitoring and evaluation. There should be more investment in achieving the drinking water and sanitation targets. Countries need to focus on treatment of waste which is crucial for ensuring environmental sustainability and also reducing the sanitation issues that are prevalent. There is a need to reinforce co-ordination between the finance sources, especially the policy makers to ensure that information is gathered and shared. Apart from this, local government agencies should develop mechanism to monitor and evaluate the Water and Sanitation expenditures. Through surveys, countries should estimate the spending and its outcome at the local level. A framework will allow tracking the funds flow and help analyse the trends. All this will help in better understanding and management of initiatives related to Water and Sanitation which is crucial to block the leakages in the overall process. The world needs to be committed towards achieving the drinking water and basic sanitation targets and focus on disbursement of funds in the unserved regions and areas of greatest need.
By Rahul Choudhury
Media Team – Fiinovation
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