Lessons from Swachh Bharat Mission are crucial for the effective implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission
“Political leadership, public finance for sanitation, partnership among stakeholders, and people’s participation are the 4Ps or key lessons from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to be replicated and adapted into the Jal Jeevan Mission,” said Mr Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), Government of India.
He was delivering a keynote address at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2020 during a plenary session on ‘Achieving the Common Target: Opportunities & Challenges Universal and Equitable Access to Safe Drinking Water.’ The discussion focused on Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 that calls for sustainable management of water and sanitation.
“National Jal Jeevan Mission’s policy of implementation ensures last-mile delivery of functional tap water to all households in India. Despite adequate water availability, only about 18 % of rural households in India have pipewater supply today. By 2024 (in the next five years), the National Jal Jeevan Mission has an ambitious goal to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every household in India,” he said. “The Government of India has recognized the institutional challenges in water management and the integration of water institutions has started with the formation of the Ministry of Jal Shakti,” he added.
The National Jal Jeevan Mission’s roadmap of implementation seeks to ensure last-mile delivery of functional tap water to all households in India. Despite adequate water availability, only about 18 % of rural households in India have pipewater supply today. The National Jal Jeevan Mission has an ambitious goal to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household in the country by 2024.
Mr Iyer highlighted the three critical components of the Mission -
Dr Syamal Kumar Sarkar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI said, “The implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission programme will involve many challenges, which are expected to be overcome through strong political will and strong leadership at the central level. A similar picture emerges across various states which are in charge of water management at the ground level.”
Mr Dan Alluf, Counsellor, Embassy of Israel, spoke about the four pillars of water management being used in the country: regulation, management, technology and awareness. “Technology is viewed as a tool box from where the right solutions are selected. The awareness in Israel towards water and its management has been instilled in the youth from a very young age leading towards a better understanding and appreciation of the effective use and management of water resources,” he said.
Mr Cherian Thomas, CEO & National Director, World Vision India drew linkages between sanitation, child malnutrition, and water contamination. He said that the challenge is to instil confidence in local villagers to manage their water resources to bring about a sustainable transformative change to their lives. About 93% of urban population in India has access to safe water; however, there are inequities of access, hygiene, and sanitation in intercity and intra-city areas. Gaps in water supply force city dwellers to depend on privately extracted ground water, bringing down the local water table. Moreover, one third of urban wastewater in India gets treated which leads to high burden of water borne diseases.
Furthermore, about 70% of India’s population, about 800 million people live in rural areas. Only half of rural population has access to safely managed drinking water – far behind China and Bangladesh. 2 Lakh annual deaths occur due to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.