Deliver on Global Goal on water and sanitation to transform our world, says WaterAid

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

Global Goal 6 commits UN member-states 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.

Neeraj Jain, Country Representative of WaterAid India said:

“Sustainable Development Goals are the next steps after Millennium Development Goals for addressing the critical issues of extreme poverty, basic rights and environmental sustainability. The fact that they are time bound and ambitious in their targets with clear goals, will help governments develop a clear road map to achieve them.

It is also heartening to see water and sanitation being included as Goal 6, which is crucial to achieve all other indicators related to health and nutrition.”

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, as 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.

In India, 5.9 per cent of households do not have access to clean water and 60.4 per cent do not have access to sanitation.

A recent report by WaterAid, Essential Element, has found that 45 low-income countries are chronically underfunded in water, sanitation and hygiene financing, and will not meet the UN goal without new political and financial prioritisation.

India is among these 45 countries.

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

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 promises 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; and
  • ensure developing countries are prioritising water, sanitation and hygiene programmes at home and finding new and effective ways of mobilising domestic resources.

Toilet Facts

44 per cent of the total population in India still defecate in the open.

Open defecation causes chronic diarrhoea that leads to stunting.