A report—True cost of sanitation—was published jointly by the LIXIL Group Corporation, Water Aid and Oxford Economics recently. Oxford Economics mainly works on economic forecasting and modelling.
It says that in 2015 lack of access to sanitation cost the global economy around US $ 222.9 billion
The economic burden of poor sanitation is the heaviest in Asia-Pacific, which is almost 77 per cent of the total amount. Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa each account for approximately 10 per cent of the global cost.
On a national level, in terms of total cost, India suffers the most, with US $ 106.7 billion wiped off the GDP in 2015. It is almost half of the total global losses and 5.2 per cent of the nation’s GDP.
According to the 2015 report of the Joint Monitoring Programme of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and the World Health Organization, around 44 per cent of Indians defecate in the open.
A 2011 report published by Water Aid says that sanitation access lowered the odds of children suffering from diarrhoea by 7-17 per cent and reduced the mortality rate of children under the age of five by 5-20 per cent. Water Aid is an international organisation dealing with water, health and sanitation.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Performance Index-
developed by the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina
It assesses performance in the following four categories: water access, water equity, sanitation access and sanitation equity.
Pakistan performed exceptionally well by occupying the fifth place on the index whereas India’s rank stands at 93.
The report talks about how to move towards sustainable solutions. Three solutions suggested are as follows:-
Innovative solutions: sanitation systems in the developed world require vast amount of land, energy, and water. They are expensive to build, maintain and operate. Innovation is a key to solving the sanitation crisis. It is not limited to designing new sanitation hardware. The report says that there should be planning in place so that sanitation products reach consumers. LIXIL is developing sanitation solutions for regions where water intensive systems are not appropriate. It delivers human-centric innovation that enhances people’s living spaces.
Political prioritisation: the social and economic impacts of improving sanitation are irrefutable. Politicians at the international, national and local levels must put sanitation at the top of their agenda and reflect this in national planning and budgeting. This point has proved true for India in many cases. Such prioritisation has helped states like Sikkim and Kerala to move towards cleanliness
Collaboration and coordination: The sanitation crisis can be solved if there is collaboration among different stakeholders. The government, communities, NGOs, researchers, academia, corporate and the private sector should come together to solve the complex sanitation issues. This approach enables each stakeholder to efficiently leverage their core skills, thereby ensuring that effective programmes can be taken to scale up with the necessary speed. Sanitation success in India and Bangladesh came only when communities were involved in the programme
India is talking about attaining a clean state by October 2019. Sanitation crisis in the country needs to be solved at a war footing to reduce the economic burden caused due to health problems connected to poor sanitation.
This needs not only construction of toilets, but usage. Managing liquid and solid wastes is also important that needs special care. Innovative technologies with low-water usage can be of great help in this regard.
Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.
The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.
Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.
These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.
Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.
AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, making decisions, and understanding natural language.
Virtual assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of virtual assistants that use natural language processing to understand and respond to users’ queries.
Recommendation systems: Companies like Netflix and Amazon use AI to recommend movies and products to their users based on their browsing and purchase history.
Efficiency: AI systems can work continuously without getting tired or making errors, which can save time and resources.
Personalization: AI can help provide personalized recommendations and experiences for users.
Automation: AI can automate repetitive and tedious tasks, freeing up time for humans to focus on more complex tasks.
Job loss: AI has the potential to automate jobs previously performed by humans, leading to job loss and economic disruption.
Bias: AI systems can be biased due to the data they are trained on, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
Safety and privacy concerns: AI systems can pose safety risks if they malfunction or are used maliciously, and can also raise privacy concerns if they collect and use personal data without consent.