UNICEF’s long vertical support for improving water supply, hygiene and hygiene stems from a firm conviction and founded on sound evidence that these are central to safeguarding the rights of broods.

In fact, it is essential for descendants to survive, grow and develop into healthy and fulfilled citizens of the world. In the broader context, UNICEF’s activities in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

Fast Facts

Hand washing with soap, chiefly after contact with excreta, can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by over 40 per cent and breathing pollutions by 30 per cent.  Diarrhoea and respiratory contagions are the quantity one cause for child deaths in India.

Hand washing with soap is among the most real and cheap ways to prevent diarrhoeal diseases and pneumonia.

With 594 million people defecating in the exposed and 44 per cent mothers positioning their children’s faeces in the open, there is a actual high risk of bacterial pollution (bacteria, viruses, amoeba) of aquatic which reasons diarrhoea in children.

Children weakened by frequent diarrhoea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. About 48 per cent of children in India are suffering from some degree of malnutrition. Diarrhoea and worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school age children impacting their learning abilities.

Adequate, well-maintained water supply and hygiene facilities in schools encourage children to attend school regularly and assistance them achieve their educational goals. Insufficient water supply and hygiene in schools are health hazards and affect school attendance, retention and educational presentation.


It is estimated that

  • Only 31 per cent of India’s populace use better sanitation (2008)
  • In rural India 21 per cent use improved sanitation facilities (2008)
  • One Hundred Forty Five million people in rural India increased access to improved sanitation between 1990-2008
  • Two hundred and Eleven Million people gained access to improved sanitation in whole of India amid 1990-2008
  • India is home to 594 million people defecating in the open; over 50 per cent of the population.
  • In Bangladesh and Brazil, only seven per cent of the population defecate in the open. In China, only four per cent of the population defecate in the open.


  • 88 per cent of the populace of 1.2 billion has access to drinking water from improved sources in 2008, as compared to 68 per cent in 1990.
  • Only a quarter the total population in India has drinking water on their premise.
  • Women, who have to collect the eating water, are vulnerable to a number of unsafe practices. Only 13 per cent of adult males collect water.
  • Sixty seven per cent of Indian households do not treat their drinking water, even though it could be chemically or bacterially dirty.

UNICEF ropes the national and state administrations in developing and applying a range of replicable intervention models for sanitation, hygiene and water supply. UNICEF’s Childs Environment Agenda in India supports the management’s flagship programmes of Total Sanitation Campaign to recover access to and use of sanitation facilities and the National Rural Drinking Water Agenda to provide adequate safe water to every rural household in India.