India: Sanitation and Hygiene Should be as Prominent as Immunisation


WJA Reporter
15th October, 2011

The Executive Director Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council Jon Lane wants issues of sanitation and hygiene to be as prominent as immunisation worldwide.

He however laments that this might take long.

“There is still a long way to go before sanitation becomes as prominent as immunisation,” notes Lane.

Jon Lane, Executive Director Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

He was speaking at the closure of this year’s Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in Mumbai India.

Lane highlighted the importance of improved sanitation and hygiene in economic development of countries and called for finding political and social solutions to sanitation and hygiene issues.

“We need to spend time persuading politicians that sanitation is important for them,” he stressed.

Lane suggested that for sanitation for all to be achieved, there is need for working hard, speaking plain language for everybody to understand, strong leadership and thinking big.

Earlier, while speaking in one of the breakout sessions, Nomathemba Neseni, Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Zimbabwe noted that all people have a right to improved sanitation and hygiene. She termed these rights as, “the second generation rights.”

Likewise, throughout the week, participants at this forum who totalled to close to 500 called for working together to ensure sanitation and hygiene for all people.

Participants listen attentively during the Forum

In one of the breakout session, the participants resolved that punishments alone may not motivate people to change behaviours but community involvement. They were referring to the use of punishments and sanctions to end open defecation and enforce construction and use of pit latrines in rural communities.

However, Julian Kyomuhangi, assistant commissioner, ministry of Health, Uganda noted that the role and use of rewards and sanctions to motivate people to change behaviours was working effectively in Uganda.

Kyomuhangi disclosed that this method had helped to motivate people to construct pit latrines and stop open defecation in most parts of northern and central Uganda.

The 2011 Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene offered to the participants a crucial opportunity to share ideas on leadership, skills, knowledge, behavior change and actions that can improve the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the world without safe sanitation and hygiene.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) was the conference host and organizer.


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