Access to clean water and sanitation: the rural-urban gap closes

News this week
Many rural areas have free toilets Many rural areas have free toilets

The rural-urban divide in access to sanitation reduces: UN

In the year 1990, more than 76% people living in urban areas all over the world had access to improved sanitation as opposed to only 28% in rural areas but in 2012, 80% urban dwellers and 47% rural ones had access to better sanitation. Even as the gap is decreasing, urban areas where more than half of the global population lives are still better supplied with improved water and sanitation than villages according to the United Nation's 2014 report on global progress against the Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation.

Cauvery tributary goes dry, thanks to illegal sand mining

Illegal sand mining and felling of trees in villages on the banks of the Suvarnavathi river in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka has rendered deep holes in the river bed. During the monsoon last year, the Suvarnavathi reservoir was almost full but the water released from it did not even flow up to a kilometre as it seeped through these holes dug to the sand being extracted. Government officials have visited only now after several complaints by farmers.

Drinking water supply a casualty in disaster-hit Uttarakhand

Of the 2800 odd drinking water schemes damaged during floods last year in the state, only 500 have been restored permanently. The rest are being restored temporarily because of which there is acute water shortage in about nine flood-hit areas. The water supply department is able to deliver only 20 litres per capita per day as against the full capacity of 40 litres per capita per day despite foreign funding.

Diarrhoea hits Andhra Pradesh in a big way

About five lakhs cases have been reported across the state since January this year, which is more than double the number of cases reported in all of last year. According to experts, the spike in diarrhoea cases is because of unsafe drinking water supply and lack of hygiene at roadside food joints. According to the Central Ground Water Board, groundwater in most parts of the state has also become unfit for drinking due to high content of fluoride, nitrate and iron. 

Low water level in Gomti threatens Lucknow's water supply

Water level in the Gomti went down so low last week that it became difficult to bring water to the pumping station that supplies water to 20 lakh people in the city. The administration had to order the Irrigation Department to release 100 cusecs of water into the river from the nearby Sharda canal to maintain its level but only a miniscule amount could be released. The residents have already started facing scarcity but there is no redressal of their complaints till now.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from May 18-24, 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

 

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