As many as 72 per cent of people in rural Karnataka still resort to open defecation, around 63 per cent do not treat their water before drinking and majority of women do not have access to modern hygienic form of sanitary protection are some of the findings of a recent survey conducted by an NGO. This puts into perpective the latest official figure of 63.91 per cent for rural sanitation coverage, published by the Ministry of Finance in the Economic Survey for 2008-09.
Ashwas, a survey on ‘Household Water And Sanitation’, by the NGO Arghyam, released by state Governor H R Bharadwaj [on 20 July 2009] revealed that 72 per cent people had no access to toilets. While 21 per cent had toilets outside the house, only seven per cent had toilets inside, it said.
Covering 17,200 households in 810 villages in 28 districts across the state, the survey was conducted between December 2008 and January 2009.
It said only five per cent of women used sanitary napkin.
Access to water has improved in most parts of the state but a major concern is the status of quality of water. Fluoride contamination above the 1.0 parts per million (ppm) government norm has been found in 60% of the cases across the state with 27 out of 28 surveyed districts registering its presence. Nitrate contamination was found in 20% of the samples. Typically nitrate contamination is from fertilizer runoff and contamination of water supply with human excreta.
A website has been set up for Ashwas, where the full state survey report, District reports, Methodology and questionnaires can be accessed. Status of water in individual gram panchayats can also be queried online. Reports customized for each Gram Panchayat surveyed will be disseminated to all the Gram Panchayats over the next 3 months.
ASHWAS report launch – presentation by Arghyam CEO Sunita Nadhamuni
Source – PTI, 20 Jul 2009 ; India Water Portal Water News, 27 Jul 2009