Study By WHO on Water Availability In India
According to a modelling study conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and commissioned by the Jal Shakti Ministry, the Centre could prevent close to 4,00,000 deaths from diarrhoea if it is successful in implementing its flagship Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), a nearly 3.6 trillion rupee project to provide piped potable water to all of India.
Jal Jeevan Mission
- Objective: To provide all rural households in India with access to clean, sufficient drinking water.
- Launch: The Ministry of Jal Shakti started the mission on August 15, 2019.
- Target: By 2024, the project hopes to have installed Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in every rural Indian household.
- Infrastructure Development: Put your attention on creating the infrastructure needed for water supply, including building water supply systems and installing tap connections.
- Decentralised Approach: Giving local groups and Gramme Panchayats more control over water delivery system planning, implementation, operation, and maintenance.
- Convergence: To ensure water supply and sanitation facilities together, convergence with other government programmes, such as the Swachh Bharat Mission, is prioritised.
- Capacity Building: Training and skill-development programmes for village-level officials and stakeholders involved in the implementation and management of water delivery systems are referred to as capacity building.
- Information, Education, and Communication (IEC): Public awareness campaigns and IEC initiatives to instruct rural people on good hygiene, conservation techniques, and access to safe drinking water.
- Quality Monitoring: Monitoring the quality of the water regularly is necessary to guarantee the availability of clean drinking water.
- Funding: With contributions from local governments and state governments, the central government provides the majority of the funding.
- Impact: By guaranteeing access to clean water, enhancing health and sanitation, and boosting general well-being, the mission hopes to alter the lives of rural populations.
Points to Ponder:
- Potential Benefits: The WHO research that was commissioned by the Jal Shakti Ministry suggests that the following advantages could result from the JJM’s successful implementation:
- Averting Deaths: According to the report, the mission could prevent almost 400,000 deaths from diarrhoea, a serious health concern in India.
- Preventing Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs): It may also stop the loss of 14 million DALYs (Distance Adjusted Life Years) owing to diarrhoea. DALYs take into account years lost to early death as well as years spent with a disability.
- Economic Savings: According to the study, the JJM might save healthcare expenses related to diarrheal disorders by almost $101 billion.
- Time Savings: The project could save the world’s women, who spend primarily 66.6 million hours a day collecting water, from having to do it. This might increase gender equality and free up time for other pursuits.
- Study Restrictions: It’s vital to keep in mind that the study has some restrictions.
- The study is extrapolated and does not take into consideration the current levels of coverage attained by the JJM.
- Water Contamination: The study also doesn’t take into account how contaminated the water that is already distributed through pipes is. Achieving the intended health benefits requires high-quality water.
- Progress and Coverage: According to the government, the JJM has resulted in notable advancements in the following areas:
- As of right now, around 62% (12.3 crore) of rural households have connected to piped water, compared to 16.6% (3.2 crore) in 2019, when the programme was first introduced.
- Target: By 2024, the government hopes to reach 100% coverage, with a fully functional tap water connection being one that provides at least 55 litres of drinkable water per person per day throughout the year.
- States and Union Territories: Some states and union territories, like Gujarat, Telangana, Goa, Haryana, Punjab, and three union territories, have already attained 100% coverage. Bihar and Himachal Pradesh are also on the verge of reaching saturation.
- Return on Investment: The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation’s Secretary, Vini Mahajan, emphasises the financial advantages of sanitation measures. According to him, every dollar spent on sanitation initiatives generates a return of $4.3 in the form of lower healthcare expenses.