Keep the promise to deliver water and sanitation for all in the Global Goals

25 Sep 2015

The UN’s unprecedented commitments to end extreme poverty and create a fairer, more sustainable planet must now turn into action to ensure the success of the new Global Goals, including water and sanitation for all, WaterAid Chief Executive Barbara Frost said today.

Global Goal 6 commits nations to delivering basic access to water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere by 2030. Its inclusion is a victory for more than 650 million people in the world today without access to clean water and nearly 2.4 billion people without access to safe, private toilets.

These basic services are tied to health, education, gender rights, urbanisation and those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said:

“The excitement in New York has been incredible - never before has such a group of leaders stood up and promised to deliver water and sanitation to everyone, everywhere. This is our moment to change the world’s course and reach those who are poorest and most vulnerable. 

“Water, sanitation and good hygiene are essential to health and dignity, whether you are a refugee fleeing violence to safety, a child spending hours fetching water instead of in a classroom, or a medical professional trying to care for patients without the ability to wash hands with soap. To succeed in this goal requires serious political commitment and financing, but we can transform the lives of hundreds of millions of people. No one can be left behind and the real work starts now.”

WaterAid research in the report Essential Element has revealed that 45 low-income nations will not meet the new Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation without new political and financial prioritization for water, sanitation and hygiene services, including a boost to traditional foreign aid. 

WaterAid is calling on governments to:

  • deliver on their promise to achieve the new global goal on water, sanitation and hygiene to ensure everyone everywhere has these essentials by 2030; 
  • ensure that there are indicators to monitor progress for access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in homes, schools and healthcare facilities;
  • ensure donor countries are meeting their commitments on foreign aid and giving sufficient priority to water, sanitation and hygiene programming;
  • ensure developing countries are prioritising water, sanitation and hygiene programmes at home and finding new and effective ways of mobilising domestic resources.

The next step is agreement on indicators for the Goals which will be determined in March 2016. WaterAid is working to ensure that hygiene is given sufficient indicators — such as whether hospitals, clinics and schools have basins and soap for hand washing — to measure progress over the next 15 years.


For more details or for interviews please contact:

  • In New York (23-27 Sept) and London: Carolynne Wheeler, News Manager (on WaterAid’s work around the UN), +1 (917) 216-6081 or +44 (0)7903 117715, [email protected]
  • In New York (from 21 Sept) and London (from 30 Sept): Suzy Vickers, PR manager (on WaterAid at the Global Citizen Festival and our 'Loo with a View'), +44 (0)7748 746 957, [email protected]
  • In London: Fiona Callister, Media Relations Lead, +44 (0)207 793 5022, [email protected], or call the press office on +44 (0)20 7793 4537 or +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]
  • In New York: Alanna Imbach, Media and Communications Officer, WaterAid America, +1 917 209 8823, [email protected]
  • In Ottawa: Graham Milner, Senior Communications Manager, WaterAid Canada, +1 (613) 230-5182 x 226 or + 1 (613) 866 8646,  [email protected]
  • In Stockholm: Magdalena Olsson, Communications Manager, WaterAid Sweden: +46 (0)8 677 3033 or +46 (0)73 661 9331, [email protected]
  • In Melbourne: Kirrily Johns, Communications Officer, WaterAid Australia: +61 (0)3 9001 8246 or [email protected]

Notes to Editors:



About WaterAid

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.  The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities.  

Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 23 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 21 million people with sanitation.  

For more information, visit, follow @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

  • Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s one child every minute.
  • Over 650 million people (around one in ten) are without safe water
  • Over 2.3 billion people (around one in three) live without improved sanitation
  • For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity.
  • Just £15 can help provide one person with access to safe water.