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Data Visualization to see the impact of Fecal Matter in the river Ganga on Infant Mortality


The river Ganga has a strong spiritual significance to the predominant religion of the region, Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). It is the sole water source for 40% of Indians. Additionally, it is a source of livelihood for 400 million people. However, the river has been subjected to untreated wastewater entering the river ecosystem.

Infant-mortality rate.jpg
  • The area around the river Ganga has the highest levels of Infant mortality rate (no of infant deaths/ 1000 births).

  • One of the top diseases plaguing the children is diarrhea. 

  • It also happens to be one of the most populated areas in India (about 40% of India’s population is located in and around that region)

  • The river also happens to be one of the most polluted rivers in the world. (Fecal waste being one of the largest contributors)

Understanding Fecal Waste​

  • Dissolved Oxygen: Water has a certain percentage of dissolved oxygen which is used by micro-organisms to digest fecal matter. The minimum concentration needed: 5 mg/l

  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand: It is the amount of oxygen needed by anaerobic micro-organisms to digest fecal matter. It is an indicator of how much fecal matter is in the water. The maximum amount allowed : 3 mg/l

  • Fecal Coliform: It is a micro-organism found in the feces of warm-blooded animals and its count indicates the amount of fecal matter in the water. The maximum amount allowed: 2500 MPN/100 m

The Hypothesis:

  • Ganga has a high level of pollution when it comes to fecal matter.

  • The areas around Ganga have one of the highest levels of infant mortality rate.

  • Fecal matter can act as a breeding ground for many infectious diseases. Salmonella, rotavirus and other parasites thrive on the fecal matter which can cause diarrhea.

  • Diarrhea is the third largest killer of infants.

  • Therefore, fecal pollution has an impact on the infant mortality rate. 

In the video below, an attempt is made to correlate the fecal matter pollution to the Infant mortality rate around the banks of the river. 

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