Maharashtra, drought hits the campaign of “ Swachh Bharat”

In 2013, Ekurke village in Osmbanabad district built 350 toilets in a month and half to end the shame of having to defecate in the open, where each household has its own toilet.

At present , with Osmanabad reeling under one of the worst droughts in the region’s history, the old practice is back as there is no water to “waste” to flush the toilets.

Many villages across the region of Marathwada and Vidarbha, state , which were declared “Open Defecation Free (ODF)”, people are pushed to the fields. The practice is also spreading in comparatively better western Maharashtra too

The officials in the state monitoring the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) agree that severe drought has halted the campaign. Since the launch of SBA on October 2, 2014, the state has built 13.35 lakh toilets with 6,756 villages earning the ODF tag. The water scarcity has hit the toilet building exercise.

If a village is facing severe shortage and even struggling to meet the drinking water needs, we can’t press them to build toilet blocks. We will have to wait until it rains, said an official

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