HomeEnvironmentThe Silent Killer: Indian Sewage System Insufficient

The Silent Killer: Indian Sewage System Insufficient

If one were to think about all the problems in the world, they will often forget about one huge problem. This problem persists all over the world, however, in India it has gone as far as taking the innocent lives of children and adults. The problem involves no guns or violence, but is the simple yet very complex problem of hygiene.

Countless people all over India are suffering from unsanitary conditions. A study by UNICEF shows that only 31 percent of people in India have access to sanitary conditions. In other words, 69 percent of the population of India live in unsanitary conditions. These conditions include dirty water and poor living conditions.

It is estimated by experts that one in every ten deaths in India is due to unsanitary conditions. Deeper study shows that diarrhea is the largest killer and has caused around 450,000 deaths alone. To make things worse, these conditions affect children even more. Out of the 450,000 deaths, 88% were deaths of children under five. According to UNICEF, children who are exposed to these unsanitary condition suffer in their cognitive development. India suffers yet another devastating blow because it loses $54 billion annually due to these condition.  This is not only affecting the people of India, it is also a leading cause for why India’s economy isn’t expanding.


According to numerous reports, a major amount of the population of India has no bathrooms. Forget bathrooms, 55% of Indian people have no access to a working toilet. What’s even worse is the poor maintenance of sewage systems in urban areas. The main problem with the sewerage systems is that they are not built to carry a large amount of wastewater. This problem is even more severe in the overpopulated cities of India such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata. The sewerage systems are built to carry waste water for around three million people, but they end up carrying wastewater for more than ten million people. This is made even worse, because Indian wastewater treatment facilities aren’t suited for this much wastewater, so everything is dumped into rivers and streams. Now when 55% of the population has no bathrooms, it will turn towards fresh flowing water. This means that most rivers in India are contaminated with wastewater. To go into more detail, the Ganga River has an incredible 1.1 million liters of raw sewage being disposed in it every single minute. That’s unacceptable. 

For The Future

If Indian authorities do not come up with a quick solution it may jeopardize the lives of more than half of the population. Although numerous attempts have been made to fix this endless problem, none have succeeded. Now we must come together and take a foot in the right direction, before its too late.

[Image Attribute: originally posted to Flickr as Lothal]

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