Rural India walks over 1,000 km for drinking water

India has earned the dubious distinction of being the largest consumer of groundwater worldwide, surpassing both the United States and China combined, according to a dire warning from the United Nations University's Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).

Fetching drinking water is a laborious task in India and about 42 per cent of the rural population travel everyday to fetch water. It has been estimated that people usually cover a distance ranging from less than 0.2 km to over 1.5 km in search of water.

About 30.4 per cent of the rural people travel less than 0.2 km and o.5 per cent of the household travel distances of more than 1.5 km, said a recent  statistics of the 76th round of National Sample Survey Office.

In the report, it has been said that 8people in the rural India travels over 1,000 kilometres a year for fetching drinking water.

When coming to urban India, the statistics says that 19.3 per cent walk travel every day to fetch water and 0.6 per cent walk more than 1.5 km daily to get drinking water. The 1.5 km travel by the urban population is higher than the distance covered in rural India.

The report also points out that 19.3 per cent households do not have drinking water source at home. When looking at the time spent for fetching water, the report says that about 10.5 per cent households in rural India utilise more than half an hour every day.

Mostly it is the women folk who are engaged in fetching water, the report says that the situation in rural regions in states of  Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur is bad. 44.5 per cent of women in Rural Kerala walk over half an hour for fetching drinking water. In Rural Jammu and Kashmir 57.1 per cent women walk the distance and 40.7 per cent women walk in Rural Manipur for the same.


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