Today 1 in 3 people around the world lack safe drinking water. Nearly as many of them drink from a water source contaminated with faeces. Many more lack safe sanitation, including 3 billion people around the world who don’t have basic hand-washing facilities at home.
Yet, universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation could reduce the global disease burden by 10 per cent and is considered the most cost effective health intervention.
In November, we explore how water and sanitation remain at the core of sustainable development, affecting not just our health but also significantly influencing socio-economic development, peace and security, inequalities and the wellbeing of our ecosystems.
For more information on water, please visit https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/
Nearly half of the world’s population today lives without safely managed sanitation – essentially hygienic, private toilets that safely dispose of people’s waste. An estimated 600 million people still practice open defecation.
This World Toilet Day, the United Nations and its partners will draw attention to the social, economic and environmental consequences of the lack of sanitation and access to safe toilets, stressing that sanitation is our human right and that toilets are life-savers, dignity-protectors and opportunity-makers.
In Nepal’s impoverished Terai region, open toilet use has been a long-standing and accepted practice until recently. “In the beginning, the majority of the people were against this project, they were saying no, it’s against our longstanding culture and we will defecate outside of our houses,” says Nathuni Prasad Kushwaha, a local community leader.
Read the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council’s firsthand account of a nation-wide effort to motivate every Nepalese household (family) to stop open defection and use a toilet. Spearheaded by the Government of Nepal, the campaign appears to be bringing transformational change.
ALSO THIS MONTH
The vast majority of all natural disasters are water-related, accounting for 70 per cent of all deaths related to disasters – and the impact and cost of these events are exacerbated by factors such as unplanned urbanization and degradation of ecosystem services.
This year, World Tsunami Day will focus on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of services, and the need to invest in resilient infrastructure, early warning systems and education.
Access to improved sanitation promotes dignity and boosts safety, particularly among women and girls, who can be at risk of being victims of rape and sexual assault because of the lack of access to a toilet that offers privacy. November also marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women when the United Nations will launch its annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign under the theme Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.
View the campaign page and concept note to learn more.
Other Upcoming Events
5-7 November | SDG Media Zone at the Web Summit, Lisbon, Portugal
12-14 November | 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, Nairobi, Kenya
25-29 November | Internet Governance Forum, Berlin, Germany
29 November | International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
On Wednesday, 27 November 2019, the United Nations will observe the annual International Day with events in New York, Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi. A special meeting will be held in the Trusteeship Chamber from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. at NY Headquarters, followed by the opening of an exhibit: “Palestine – the most universal of national causes” in the Visitor’s lobby.