If statics of World Bank is to be believed than, out of 2.4 billion people who lack access to proper sanitations globally, around 750 million resides in India in which 80% is hails from rural parts of India. The argument raised holds true for World Bank in approving loan of USD 1.5 billion for clean India campaign started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Apart from providing financial aid to India, World Bank will also support government in ensuring that all rural areas have access to improved sanitation and put an end on practice of defecation in open by 2019.
Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India said “One in every ten deaths in India is linked to poor sanitation. And studies show that low-income households bear the maximum brunt of poor sanitation.”
He further added that “this project, aimed at strengthening the implementation of the Swachh Bharat initiative of the government, will result in significant health benefits for the poor and vulnerable, especially those living in rural areas.”
“Incentivizing good performance by states and the focus on behavioral changes are two important components of this project,” Ruhl said.
According to Bank officials Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) will play the overseeing and managing role for the program and support the involved states.
The funds would be used to develop capacity of MDSWS in management, advocacy, monitoring and evaluations.
Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region said “India has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in pursuing the ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) campaign and embracing the focus on behavior to complement the construction of toilets.”
The World Bank will also provide a parallel USD 25 million technical assistance to build the capacity of select state governments in implementing community-led behavioral change programs targeting social norms to help ensure widespread usage of toilets by rural households.