The handbooks had much relevance because children should be made aware of these vital issues at a young age itself : Chief Minister Oommen Chandy
The good health indicators achieved by the State can be sustained only if Kerala pays more attention to providing safe drinking water to people and maintaining sanitation standards, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.
Releasing the handbooks on water and sanitation, developed by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), for lower primary and upper primary students, in partnership with Unicef here on Friday, he pointed out that provision of safe drinking water and sanitation continued to be major challenges for the State.
Even as Kerala proudly touted its health indices which were on par with that of European nations, the State could not provide safe drinking water to a majority of its people.
The handbooks had much relevance because children should be made aware of these vital issues at a young age itself, he added. The Chief Minister also said that the State was trying hard to become the first Nirmal State in the country.
Minister for Water Resources P.J. Joseph presided. Delivering the keynote address, the Chief of Unicef (Kerala and Tamil Nadu), Satish Kumar, said groundwater contamination was a major issue in Kerala as over 80 per cent of the people in the State depended on groundwater for drinking purposes.
Kerala had the highest population coverage as far as toilet facilities were concerned. But most of these were the deep-pit type, which, given the porous nature of the soil, led to biological contamination of water sources. CWRDM officials said that the content of the handbook was very informal and it introduced topics using stories, pictures, and puzzles so that it would sustain the interest of children.