Sanitation now on national agenda in India, says UNICEF representative

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New Delhi, Apr 13 (ANI): Lizette Burgers, the Chief of Water and Environmental Sanitation of UNICEF has said India is heading towards achieving Millennium Development Goal in sanitation as it has put sanitation on national agenda.

Addressing a press conference here, Burgers said: "In the case of sanitation, the total sanitation campaign has succeeded in putting sanitation on the national agenda.

Sanitation has been showing an increasing trend since 1999. The latest ...programme data indicates a sharp acceleration from 2006 onwards and we are hopeful that with further dynamics and sustained support India is inching closer to the MGD target." Rural Development Minister of West Bengal Chandra Prakash Joshi said the state had achieved the MGD goals for drinking water.

"I am happy to say that we have achieved the MGD for drinking water by providing 84 percent of our rural population with access to improved sources of water as compared to goal of 83 percent. However, there is much more to achieve, our goal is to provide every household with an improved source of drinking water by 2012. Our challenge is also to meet the increasing demand from the rural areas to provide piped water and household tap connections. In this sense, we have quite some distance to go," Joshi added.

He further said that provision of sanitation and a clean environment are important to improve health of the people and reduce the incidence of diseases among children.

The Programme focuses on sharing India's development experience and its drive towards achieving the MDGs for water and sanitation. Experts from around 18 countries would visit different states to study aspects of water safety and sanitation.

The groups would be visiting Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. (ANI)

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