India has made “moderate” progress in reducing open defecation rates among its population and has succeeded in providing access to improved drinking water to more people in urban and rural areas, according to a UN report.
The Joint Monitoring Programme report titled “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment” released by the UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization said one in every three or 2.4 billion people on the planet are still without sanitation facilities, including 946 million people who defecate in the open.
It said India is among the 16 countries that have reduced open defecation rates by at least 25 percentage points. In India’s case, there has been a reduction by 31 percent in open defecation, a progress termed as “moderate” by the report.
“The Southern Asia region, where the number of open defecators is highest, has also made significant improvements. Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan have all achieved reductions of more than 30 percentage points since 1990,” the report said.
“The 31 percent reduction in open defecation in India alone represents 394 million people and significantly influences regional and global estimates,” it said.