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The 4.2 billion people in the world living without safely managed sanitation services often face many forms of discrimination. They can be left behind as they try to access and manage sanitation services or improve their current facilities.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 has a target to eliminate open defecation and ensure everyone has access to sustainable sanitation services by 2030, “paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations”.

World Toilet Day 2019 is drawing attention to those people being left behind without sanitation and the social, economic and environmental consequences of inaction.

A toilet is not just a toilet. It’s a life-saver, dignity-protector and opportunity-maker.

We must expand access to safe toilets and leave no one behind. Because whoever you are, wherever you are, sanitation is your human right.

Download the factsheet

Download a short explanation of the issues and key facts. Available in: Arabic, ChineseEnglish, French, Russian and Spanish.

Waste offer African women unexpected business opportunities

Waste offer African women unexpected business opportunities

In sub-Saharan Africa, most people rely on firewood and charcoal for cooking and heating. Using firewood and charcoal in inefficient stoves dangerously pollutes indoor air quality, while cutting down trees without replanting plans degrades the environment.

One alternative is springing up from a surprising source: Waste. Waste materials, such as city and market waste, cow dung or even human excreta, can be recovered and made into cleaner, cheaper bioenergy products that can help alleviate the energy poverty that has long plagued sub-Saharan Africa.

Learn more about this new waste-to-energy business opportunity.

The brown revolution: Plant food from toilet waste

The brown revolution: Plant food from toilet waste

Urban areas around the world are feeling the weight of growing populations. While cities can become hotspots for economic opportunity, they also churn out massive amounts of waste. Untreated waste that returns to the earth can be unsafe – and a waste of precious nutrients.

But now there are ways to not only treat that waste, but to turn it into something new – a solution and business model all in one.

Learn more about the brown revolution.

Climate, sanitation and health

Climate, sanitation and health

An estimated 4.5 billion people worldwide live without access to safely managed sanitation, putting them at risk of infectious diseases. Climate change exacerbates these risks by placing strain on sanitation systems. Therefore, sanitation technologies and services must be designed, operated and managed to cope with climate change and minimise public health risks.

Download the World Health Organization (WHO) discussion paper ‘Climate, Sanitation and Health’.

Planning for climate change during COVID-19 crisis

Planning for climate change during COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the worst-ever biological disasters. While countries continue to respond to the global crisis, they are also moving towards recovery and adaptation planning at the national and sub-national levels. We need to ensure that these efforts don’t just address current risks but also take into consideration climate impacts, including extreme and slow onset events.

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) brief ‘‘Planning for climate change during COVID-19 crisis: the role of humanitarian and disaster risk management actors’.

Why nations must prepare for natural disasters

Why nations must prepare for natural disasters

Countries are declaring states of emergency while climate change is increasing variability in weather patterns, and other risks such as financial shocks are likely. Therefore, the need to build the general resilience of populations and prepare for these intersecting risks is critical. This will require nations to break down existing silos between sectors, including disaster management, health, meteorology, agriculture and finance.

Learn more in this International Water Management Institute (IWMI) article ‘Why nations must prepare for natural disasters amid the current Covid-19 pandemic’.

COVID-19 and adequate sanitation

COVID-19 and adequate sanitation

COVID19 pandemic: a global threat. What else should we pay attention to? Many infectious diseases are easily transmitted when people have inadequate accesses to toilets, when faeces are insufficiently treated and disposed of, and when personal and domestic hygiene are lacking.

Video by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation on COVID19 and adequate sanitation, available in FrenchEnglish | Spanish

Want to help fight COVID-19?

Want to help fight COVID-19?

Because handwashing is an important way to reduce transmission, the response to COVID-19 intersects with issues around global access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). This community page on the Water Action Hub seeks to highlight the connections between COVID-19 response and WASH issues, as well as other connections between COVID-19 and water, climate, and equity challenges.

Want to help fight COVID-19? List your organization’s work on the CEO Water Mandate Water Action Hub.

UN World Water Development Report

UN World Water Development Report

The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report was released in conjunction with World Water Day on the 22nd March 2020 under the topic ‘Water and Climate Change’.

The report stresses that climate change’s impact on the availability, quality, and quantity of water will weaken the access of billions of people to their basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation.

 

Enhancing access to services for migrants

Enhancing access to services for migrants

COVID-19 has taken lives, devastated economies, and upended relationships. It threatens a new normal fraught with fear and uncertainty. But it has also allowed us to take stock of the interconnected nature of our shared humanity and provide impetus for nations and communities to build back stronger.

Learn more in the UN Network on Migration article ‘Enhancing access to services for migrants in the context of COVID-19 preparedness, prevention, and response and beyond‘.

One of the best defences against coronavirus

One of the best defences against coronavirus

One of the cheapest, easiest, and most important ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is frequent handwashing with soap and water. But for many children and families, basic water and hygiene facilities remain out of reach. 
40% of the world’s population lacks access to soap and water at home, while 900 million children lack soap and water at their school.
Learn more on how UNICEF is equipping families and communities with soap and clean water to protect themselves against COVID-19 here.
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