“inadequate sanitation” is costing India $53.8 billion every year, by the way of expenditures on treatment of water-borne diseases, among other things, said top Unicef official quoting estimation in 2008 by the World Bank.

“India is paying a heavy price because of… preventable water-borne diseases: a study from the World Bank published in 2008 shows that the total economic impacts of inadequate sanitation in India was amounting to $53.8 billion per year, equivalent of 6.4 per cent of India’s Gross Development Production in the same period,” said a statement from Nicolas Osbertas, chief of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Unicef.

He was part of a panel during the release of data on the sanitation situation in the country as a part of the Swachhta Hi Seva” campaign.

Calling the Swachh Bharat Mission a “once-in-a-generation” movement, he said that a recent survey by Unicef showed 85% of the 10,000 rural households it selected used toilets.

He said that a household could save Rs 50,000 per year, if it is in a open defecation free community.

Osbertas pointed out that India accounted for 22 per cent of the global deaths due to diarrhoea among under-five children in 2015.

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