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.
World Toilet Day 2019: Leaving no one behind
In rural Bangladesh, microfinance has been used to encourage sanitation investments by households and entrepreneurs. This public-private project has made small loans available to households to buy sanitation hardware and to small construction companies who offer to install it.
In Guinea-Bissau, open defecation remains a deeply rooted practice. The region of Quinara was recognized as the first to become ‘open defecation free’ in Guinea-Bissau – a remarkable achievement in a country where nearly one in six people still go out in the open. How was it done? By letting the community lead the process: asking families to identify areas around the home they use as toilets and then work with local NGOs to understand the health risks and to take action to build and use toilets.
In the slum area of Soweto East in Kenya, UN-Habitat and partners consulted with residents as part of a project to help upgrade the road through the neighbourhood and improve toilet and water facilities. People reported that the sanitation blocks gave the area a new lease of life and a host of unexpected positive transformations.
Growing numbers of female plumbers in Jordan are being trained by the International Labour Organization to help protect people from electrocution via their household water systems. Safaa runs her own company in Irbid, Jordan, which has a group of around 20 female plumbers carrying out this essential work to ensure metal piping in water and sanitation systems is safely insulated from electricity cables.