New Global Goal to deliver water and sanitation to all will transform our world

On the verge of an unprecedented world commitment to end extreme poverty and create a fairer, more sustainable planet, WaterAid urges UN member states to deliver on the new UN Global Goals and leave no one behind.

News

24 Sep 2015 | AU

On the verge of an unprecedented world commitment to end extreme poverty and create a fairer, more sustainable planet, WaterAid urges UN member states to deliver on the new UN Global Goals and leave no one behind.

Global Goal 6 commits countries to delivering basic access to water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere by 2030. The inclusion of this goal is a victory for more than 650 million people in the world today without access to clean water and 2.3 billion people without access to safe, private toilets.

 Paul Nichols, Chief Executive of WaterAid Australia, said:

“This is our chance to change the course of history and reach those who are poorest and most vulnerable. Water, sanitation and hygiene are fundamental to development and by delivering these essential services, the lives of hundreds of millions of people will be transformed. It is possible, with the right political commitment, innovative thinking and funding.”

This ambitious goal to deliver water and sanitation to all is achievable, but requires political will and financing. Specifically WaterAid is calling on governments to:

• implement the new global goal on water, sanitation and hygiene to ensure everyone everywhere has these essentials by 2030 

• ensure that there are clear targets and indicators to monitor progress in homes, schools and healthcare facilities

• ensure donor countries are meeting their commitments on foreign aid and giving more priority to water, sanitation and hygiene programming

• ensure developing countries are prioritising water, sanitation and hygiene programmes at home and to find new and effective ways of mobilising domestic resources

• work towards an end to aid dependency by ensuring governments deliver and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene services as part of national plans

The 17 Global Goals on sustainable development aim to tackle extreme poverty, inequalities and climate change, including the water and sanitation crisis which kills half a million young children each year from preventable diarrhoeal diseases.

This crisis compromises the ability of children to attend school and adults to engage in income-generating work. And it affects women and girls most. They are most often tasked with collecting water, at higher risk of illness or infection in the absence of safe water, basic toilets and good hygiene, and are made more vulnerable to attack if they must relieve themselves in the open.

A recent report by WaterAid, Essential Element, has found that 45 low-income countries have been failed by the developed world through chronic underfunding of water, sanitation and hygiene services, and will not meet the UN goal without new political and financial prioritisation.

In each of these countries, half or more of the population do not have a basic, safe place to relieve themselves, polluting their water supply and environment and leaving people at high risk of illness.

Some of these countries are our closest neighbours.

In Papua New Guinea, 60 per cent of households do not have access to clean water and 81.1 per cent do not have access to sanitation.

In Cambodia, 24.5 per cent of households do not have access to clean water and 57.6 per cent do not have access to sanitation.