Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. The word 'sanitation' also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and waste water disposal.
Nearly half of India's 1.2 billion population do not have toilets at home. 60% of India’s rural population defecate in open either due to lack of toilets, lack of their Operation and Maintenance, due to absence of water or inappropriate technology with no scientific mode of digesting the waste, leading to rural men questioning the usefulness of toilets. 32% rural families in 2011 (as per census figures) and 40 %.( NSSO figures of 2013) have rural toilets.
Lack of adequate means of disposing waste is a growing nuisance for heavily populated areas, carrying the risk of infectious disease, particularly to vulnerable groups such as the very young, the elderly and people suffering from diseases that lower their resistance. Poorly controlled waste also means daily exposure to an unpleasant environment. The build up of faecal contamination in rivers and other waters is not just a human risk: other species are affected, threatening the ecological balance of the environment.
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