Friday, 19 December 2014

UN in your language

Sanitation

Sanitation - A child dies every 20 seconds


Tom Van Cakenberghe

One child dies every 20 seconds of diarrhea, a disease directly related to poor sanitation. This amounts to more deaths than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Less progress has been made in improving sanitation than most of the other MDGs. It is surprising since for every dollar spent on sanitation facilities, there is an average return of $9. The cost of universal access to sanitation: the amount the world spends on bottled water every year.

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# Article Title
1 International stop-making-fun-of-world-toilet day!
2 Citizens of Flanders collected over 7 million Euros to fight diarrhea worldwide
3 Unglamorous but fit for a Prince
4 Sanitation as a Human Right

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3 Questions to Catarina de Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.


F
acts:

  • Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces. The word 'sanitation' also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.

 

  • Access to sanitation has been recognized by the UN as a human right, a basic service required to live a normal life.

 

  • The second component of MDG Target 7.C is to halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation. Current rates of progress towards this are insufficient. If current trends continue, this component of Target 7.C will not be met (World Health Statistics 2011, WHO)

 

  • Most countries that are not on track to meet the MDG sanitation target are in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Southern Asia

 

  • The United Nations estimates that 2.6 billion people, nearly 40% of the worlds population, still lack access to improved sanitation and around 1.2 billion practice open defecation. An estimated 1.6 million people, mostly children under the age of 5, die each year from water and sanitation-related diseases.

 

  • Cross-country studies show that the method of disposing of excreta is one of the strongest determinants of child survival: the transition from unimproved to improved sanitation reduces overall child mortality by about a third. Children under five are the most vulnerable to poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation, two of the major causes of diarrhoea. According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the disease kills at least 1.2 million children under five each year.

 

  • “Sanitation is a sensitive issue. It is an unpopular subject. Perhaps that is why the sanitation crisis has not been met with the kind of response we need,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said .

 

  •        He added that focusing on total hygiene does more than improve health. “It can also improve the safety of women and girls, who are often targeted when they are alone outdoors. And providing safe, private toilets may also help girls stay in school – which we know can increase their future earnings and help break the cycle of poverty.”