The theme in 2017: wastewater

By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals aim to reach everyone with sanitation, and halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reuse.

For that to be achieved, we need everyone’s poo to be contained, transported, treated and disposed of in a safe and sustainable way. Today, for billions of people around the world, sanitation systems are either non-existent or ineffective. Human waste gets out and killer diseases spread, meaning progress in health and child survival is seriously undermined.

 

The poo journey

If there’s one thing that unites humanity, it’s the call of nature. But depending on where we live, it’s not always possible to dispose of our bodily waste safely and responsibly.

To achieve SDG 6, we need everyone’s poo to take a 4-step journey:

  1. Containment. Poo must be deposited into a hygienic toilet and stored in a sealed pit or tank, separated from human contact.
  2. Transport. Pipes or latrine emptying services must move the poo to the treatment stage.
  3. Treatment. Poo must be processed into treated wastewater and waste products that can be safely returned to the environment.
  4. Disposal or reuse. Safely treated poo can be used for energy generation or as fertilizer in food production.

Photo © Daniel Bachhuber via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Learn more about the four-step journey, download the factsheet and the infographic poster.