Water, sanitation and hygiene: what should we aim for post-2015?

Originally published in the Guardian by Amanda Marlin, WSSCC

Lessons have been learned from the MDGs and improvements can be made to help drive investments in WASH


 Water, sanitation and hygiene: what should we aim for post-2015? Photograph: WSSCC/Katherine Anderson

Colleagues at the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for water supply and sanitation are painfully aware of this. These are the folk who reported that the MDG target for drinking water had been met by 2010, but that more than 700 million people still lack access to improved sources of drinking water. They are also the people who remind us that we are way off track to meet the sanitation target, with 2.5 billion people still lacking access to improved sanitation, and 1 billion people practising open defecation.
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World Toilet Day around the globe

This World Toilet Day round-up was originally published on WSSCC

Belgium, Brussels

The European Toilet Declaration was proclaimed at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by Unilever and WaterAid. The declaration focuses attention on positioning WASH prominently in the Post-2015 agenda. WSSCC’s Amanda Marlin attended a debate hosted by Catherine Bearder MEP on how progress on WASH is fundamental for advancing on other key development areas such as nutrition, food security, women empowerment and economic development and how an ambitious EU position on WASH can make progress possible. Read the declaration.

India, Jharkhand

Visibility of India’s ODF campaign has gone from strength to strength with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government setting itself the challenge to become open-defecation free by 2019. A recent WSSCC mission to India by Executive Director Chris Williams and a team of sanitation and equity experts helped to make the GSF more visible to key stakeholders including local and State government. Political will is vital to implement the national Swatch Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) which requires the building of 111 million toilets.

India, Chennai

At the India Toilet Summit held in Chennai, held on World Toilet Day, stakeholders including policy makers and researchers agreed that building toilets is not the only solution to end open defecation, rather it is necessary to change mindsets. Sixty percent of India’s population resorts to open defecation. WSSCC ‘s National Coordinator Vinod Mishra told those attending the summit there is an estimated 6.4% loss of GDP due to health expenses that arise due to lack of toilets contributing to poverty and malnourishment. Continue reading