Odisha Sun Times Bureau with inputs from IANS
Bhubaneswar, Jan 27:
Even though both the Odisha and the Union Government boast of a number of schemes to improve rural sanitation issues, they clearly have not made much progress in the state. As per data presented in the Lok Sabha, Odisha tops the list in open defecation in rural areas with 86.6 percent of rural households defecating in the open.
In contrast, no more than 3.9 percent of households defecate in the open in Kerala.
According to data tabled in the Lok Sabha on May 7, 2015, a staggering 55 percent of rural households defecate in the open at the national level.
In urban areas, about 12.6 percent of urban households defecate in the open. This number is higher for slums, with 18.9 percent of households defecating in the open.
In Madhya Pradesh, around 22.5 percent urban households defecate in open spaces, followed by Tamil Nadu (16.2 percent), Uttar Pradesh (14.8 percent), Gujarat (8.7 percent), Maharashtra (7.7 percent) and Delhi (3 percent).
Interestingly, around 1.7 percent of households across India defecate in the open despite having toilets; the government informed the Lok Sabha in a reply last month, based on a 2012 National Sample Survey report.
Open defecation, however, has fallen by half over 25 years globally.
The proportion of people practising open defecation globally has fallen almost by half, from 24 percent in 1990 to 13 percent in 2015.
About 68 percent of the world’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities, including flush toilets and covered latrines, in 2015, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, nearly 2.4 billion people across the world lack basic sanitation facilities, such as toilets or latrines. Of these, 946 million defecate in the open, according to the WHO.