While the countries of the world are progressing well at achieving the SDG targets, but the questions arise whether the efforts are enough after the Joint Monitoring Report on water, sanitation and hygiene, produced jointly by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO), that was released recently.
According to the report, most countries of the world have not only reduced open defecation but have also improved a lot on safely-managed sanitation between 2000-2017, says the report.
While open defecation fell from 21.48 per cent to 8.92 per cent, safely managed sanitation improved from 28.20 per cent to 44.99 per cent during these 17 years, according to the report.
Moreover, 16 countries have reduced open defecation by 20 per cent and the leading country in this respect is Ethiopia (57 per cent), followed by Cambodia (53 per cent) and India (47 per cent).
In India, open defecation and unimproved sanitation have reduced. In fact, the report has confirmed that there has been a distinct reduction in open defecation after the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission in India. However, the country needs to improve its efforts to safely-manage sanitation.
According to a report by Down to Earth magazine, on the other hand, has shown that on the ground, states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha show faulty toilets, which result in the contamination of water bodies. Thus in order to meet the SDG target, the countries need to focus not only on correct toilet technologies but also the treatment of faecal sludge.
Apart from this, the countries are lagging way behind in several other SDGs such as protecting human rights. With a large number of human rights violations observed in India as well as other parts of Asia, in order to be able to meet the 2030 target for SDGs, some bold and drastic measures are needed to be taken by the governments, corporates, civil societies and individuals.
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The CSR Journal Team