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India's Swachh Bharat Answer to SDG 6

Monday, 12th November 2018
India and representatives of 70 countries, both developed and developing, signed the Delhi Declaration on International Sanitation in October. Among the principal signatories was Narendra Modi,  Prime Minister of India and Antonio Guterres,  Secretary General of the United Nations.  The Delhi Declaration was the outcome of an international conference attended by  over 50 Ministers  in charge of sanitation from all corners of the world. UN agencies, NGOs and private sector organizations added their number to over 200 delegates at the conference which was hosted by the Government of India. Uganda's delegation to the Convention was led by Hon Sarah Opendi, Minister of State for Health in charge of General Duties.

The conference was encouraged to learn that it was possible to cause behavior change  which is instrumental in achieving successful sanitation outcomes. India gave her example of the Swachh Bharat (Clean India)  Mission which had ushered  a rural sanitation transformation  throughout the country. Indicators of these success include 95% usage of latrines in all States which barely ten years ago had less than 39% toilet coverage. Other sanitation successes include availability and use of safe water; in both rural and urban areas.

The high level Convention was opened by President Ram Kovind  who offered Indian lessons from Swachh Bharat to other countries. The President underlined the importance of global collaboration in meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Sanitation. Goal six encourages all countries to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.