Disparities in toilet access across Karnataka

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KEY STORY

  • An analysis of district-wise break-up of access to toilets in National Family Health Survey-5 data reveals regional disparity in Karnataka. The percentage of households having access to toilets is more among 15 districts of South Karnataka and three districts of coastal Karnataka, as opposed to 12 districts of North Karnataka. While a majority of South and all coastal districts have crossed 90 per cent, not a single North Karnataka district has touched 90 per cent.
  • “Access to toilet facility varies widely across districts, ranging from 46.6 per cent in Yadgir district to all households in Dakshina Kannada district. Households without proper sanitation facilities have a greater risk of diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid,” the survey read. In Karnataka, 83.1 per cent of households have access to toilet facility, with much higher accessibility in urban areas (93.3%) than in rural areas (75.9%).
  • “Districts like Bagalkot, Kalaburagi, Bijapur, Raichur, Yadgir etc have very poor access. The reason could be poorer infrastructural investment by the government, lack of water supply and cultural barriers to using toilets. What is important to know is how people defecate in the absence of access to toilets. If it is open defecation, it is much more difficult for women and girls, especially as open fields become less accessible,” said Dr Sylvia Karpagam, public health doctor and researcher.
  • Access to toilets ranges from 76 per cent among Scheduled Castes to 88 per cent among households not belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Other Backward Class, the survey read.

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