In Message for World Toilet Day, Secretary-General Urges that Sanitation Be at Heart of Post-2015 Development Framework
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World Toilet Day, observed on 19 November:
Each year, more than 800,000 children under five die needlessly from diarrhoea — more than one child a minute. Countless others fall seriously ill, with many suffering long-term health and developmental consequences. Poor sanitation and hygiene are the primary cause. Worldwide, some 2.5 billion people lack the benefits of adequate sanitation. More than 1 billion people practise open defecation. We must break the taboos and make sanitation for all a global development priority.
This first official observance by the United Nations of World Toilet Day is an opportunity to highlight this important topic. Sanitation is central to human and environmental health. It is essential for sustainable development, dignity and opportunity. Poor water and sanitation cost developing countries around $260 billion a year — 1.5 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP). On the other hand, every dollar invested can bring a five-fold return by keeping people healthy and productive. When schools offer decent toilets, 11 per cent more girls attend. When women have access to a private latrine, they are less vulnerable to assault.
Despite the compelling moral and economic case for action on sanitation, progress has been too little and too slow. That is why I launched a Call to Action on Sanitation this year to end open defecation by 2025 and build on existing efforts, such as Sanitation and Water for All and the Sanitation Drive to 2015, the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
We are a long way from achieving the MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people lacking adequate sanitation. We must urgently step up our efforts, with all actors working together for rapid, tangible results. And, as we look beyond 2015, it is essential that sanitation is placed at the heart of the post-2015 development framework. The solutions need not be expensive or technology driven. There are many successful models that can be replicated and scaled up. We must also work to educate at-risk communities and change cultural perceptions and long-standing practices that have no place in our modern world.
By working together — and by having an open and frank discussion on the importance of toilets and sanitation — we can improve the health and well-being of one third of the human family. That is the goal of World Toilet Day.
Learn more at the World Toilet Day Site:
World Toilet Day is observed annually on 19 November. This international day of action aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.
Can you imagine not having a toilet? Can you imagine not having privacy when you need to relieve yourself? Although unthinkable for those living in wealthy parts of the world, this is a harsh reality for many – in fact, one in three people on this globe, does not have access to a toilet! Have you ever thought about the true meaning of dignity?
World Toilet Day was created to pose exactly these kind of questions and to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people face. World Toilet Day brings together different groups, such as media, the private sector, development organisations and civil society in a global movement to advocate for safe toilets. Since its inception in 2001, World Toilet Day has become an important platform to demand action from governments and to reach out to wider audiences by showing that toilets can be fun and sexy as well as vital to life. more…
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- Paving the way toward the MDGs and beyond (devex.com)
- UN Assembly Ramps-up Pressure on MDGs, Clarifies Post-2015 Goals (ictsd.org)
- Out in the open (thehindu.com)
2.4 billion people will lack improved sanitation in 2015
World will miss MDG target
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 13 May 2013 – Some 2.4 billion people – one-third of the world’s population – will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015, according to a joint WHO/UNICEF report issued today.
The report, entitled PRogress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2013 Update, warns that, at the current rate of progress, the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of the 1990 population without sanitation will be missed by eight per cent – or half a billion people.
While UNICEF and WHO announced last year that the MDG drinking water target had been met and surpassed by 2010, the challenge to improve sanitation and reach those in need has led to a consolidated call for action to accelerate progress.
“There is an urgent need to ensure all the necessary pieces are in place – political commitment, funding, leadership – so the world can accelerate progress and reach the Millennium Development Goal sanitation target,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “The world can turn around and transform the lives of millions that still do not have access to basic sanitation. The rewards would be immense for health, ending poverty at its source, and well-being.”
The report echoes the urgent call to action by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson for the world community to combine efforts and end open defecation by 2025. With less than three years to go to reach the MDG deadline WHO and UNICEF call for a final push to meet the sanitation target.
“This is an emergency no less horrifying than a massive earthquake or tsunami,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, global head of UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme. “Every day hundreds of children are dying; every day thousands of parents mourn their sons and daughters. We can and must act in the face of this colossal daily human tragedy.”
Among the key findings from the latest 2011 data, the report highlights:
- Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of the world’s population had access to improved sanitation facilities, an increase of almost 1.9 billion people since 1990.
- Approximately 2.5 billion people lacked access to an improved sanitation facility. Of these, 761 million use public or shared sanitation facilities and 693 million use facilities that do not meet minimum standards of hygiene.
- In 2011, 1 billion people still defecated in the open. Ninety per cent of all open defecation takes place in rural areas.
- By the end of 2011, 89 per cent of the world population used an improved drinking-water source, and 55 per cent had a piped supply on premises. This left an estimated 768 million people without improved sources for drinking water, of whom 185 million relied on surface water for their daily needs.
- There continues to be a striking disparity between those living in rural areas and those who live in cities. Urban dwellers make up three-quarters of those with access to piped water supplies at home. Rural communities comprise 83 per cent of the global population without access to improved drinking- water source and 71 per cent of those living without sanitation.
Faster progress on sanitation is possible, the two organizations say. The report summarizes the shared vision of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector including academia, human rights and global monitoring communities for a post-2015 world where:
- No one should be defecating in the open
- Everyone should have safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home
- All schools and health centres should have water, sanitation and hygiene
- Water, sanitation and hygiene should be sustainable
- Inequalities in access should be eliminated
Download the entire report and get more information at:
About the JMP
The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation is the official United Nations mechanism tasked with monitoring global progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) relating to access to drinking water and sanitation. The JMP data helps draw connections between access to clean water and private sanitation facility and quality of life.
The World Health Organization is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. From its inception, WHO has recognized the importance of water and sanitation. Visit www.who.int for more information.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS), now being supported by UNICEF in 50 countries around the world, including crucial ones in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, have led to more than 39,000 communities, with a total population of over 24 million people, being declared free of open defecation within the last five years.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.
For further information, please contact:
Rita Ann Wallace, Communications Officer, UNICEF New York,
Tel: + 1 212 326 7586 / Mobile: + 917 213 4034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nada Osseiran, Communications Officer, WHO Geneva,
Tel: + 4122 791 4475 / Mobile: + 4179 445 1624, email@example.com
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- Everyone needs a place to go (thehindu.com)
- Third World Problems (cameronkoizumi.wordpress.com)
- Global Health Plan Aims to End a Third of Childhood Deaths (ipsnews.net)
- Diarrhoea kills 10,000 under five children in Ghana annually – Minister (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Post-2015 development agenda must reflect all dimensions of sustainability (guardian.co.uk)
there was a report new report out this winter called
REACHING THE MDG TARGET FOR
SANITATION IN AFRICA
– A CALL FOR REALISM –
- REACHING THE MDG TARGET FOR SANITATION IN AFRICA – A CALL FOR REALISM
- BUILDING POLITICAL COMMITMENT FOR SANITATION IN A FRAGMENTED INSTITUTIONAL LANDSCAPE
- HOOKED ON SANITATION SUBSIDIES
- CHALLENGES IN SUPPORTING HYGIENE BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
- MEASURING PROGRESS IN SANITATION
It is not soft in its observations. It reference multiple source in substantiating its title.
Like the following:”Many private organizations
and government departments have focused on providing toilets aimed at achieving high coverage
rates rather than motivating their use and maintenance (17). The end result is the construction of
toilets that are either not wanted, inappropriate or unused. ”
Seems Like we need to be doing some more reality checks and long term monitoring of solutions.