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

24 Sep 2015

On the verge of an unprecedented world commitment to end extreme poverty and create a fairer, more sustainable planet, WaterAid urges world leaders to deliver on the new UN Global Goals and leave no one behind.
Global Goal 6 commits nations 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 nearly 2.4 billion people without access to safe, private toilets.
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said:
“This is a moment of transformation for our world – a chance to change the course of history and reach those who are poorest and most vulnerable in our world, so that they can reach their potential. Water, sanitation and hygiene are fundamental– no society ever truly achieved modernity and prosperity while its people were forced to relieve themselves in bushes or walk miles to collect dirty water for their families. By delivering these essential services, the lives of hundreds of millions of people will be transformed, and it is possible with the right political commitment, innovative thinking and new sources of 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:

  • 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 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 most 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.

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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 @WaterAidUK 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.