IYS 2008 launched on 21 November 2007: details here watch here UNICEF video here
is the most effective public health intervention the international community
has at its disposal. Yet 40% of the world’s population still lacks access to a
toilet. It is time for toilets and sewage disposal systems to be taken more seriously,
not just by governments and civil society, but also by funding bodies and the
global health community" (Editorial, The Lancet, 10November 2007).
The MDG Sanitation Target − excerpt from the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002 − the Johannesburg Summit, pp.
“The provision of clean drinking
water and adequate sanitation is necessary to protect human health and the
environment. In this respect, we agree to halve, by the year 2015, the
proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water
(as outlined in the Millennium Declaration) and the proportion of people who do
not have access to basic sanitation, which would include actions at all levels
(a) Develop and implement
efficient household sanitation systems;
sanitation in public institutions, especially schools;
(c) Promote safe hygiene practices;
(d) Promote education and outreach
focused on children, as agents of
(e) Promote affordable and
socially and culturally acceptable technologies
(f) Develop innovative financing
and partnership mechanisms;
(g) Integrate sanitation into
water resources management strategies.”
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is “in charge” − see
what it has to say here.
UN webpage for IYS
2008 − see also its Sanitation
also the UN Secretary General’s Advisory
Board on Water and Sanitation − see what it has to say here (and be amazed by the paucity of information it has in its on-line 'Biblioteca' on sanitation technology). UNSGAB's objectives for IYS. See also UNICEF's video of UNSGAB's meeting on 7 May 2007.
UN-Water Task Force on Sanitation
speaks out for sanitation:
How to prevent a tenth of the global disease burden (The Lancet, 28 June 2008) − listen here.
Keeping sanitation in the international spotlight (The
Lancet, 29 March 2008)
Access to toilets for all and A clarion call for greater
investment in global sanitation (The Lancet, 10 November 2007)
Water and sanitation: the neglected health MDG (The
Lancet, 7 October 2006)
Watching the world wash its hands of sanitation (The
Lancet Infectious Diseases, October 2006)
Focusing on improved water and sanitation for health (The
Lancet, 26 February 2005)
Clean water alone cannot prevent disease (The Lancet,
4 September 2004)
Sanitation and hygiene: approaches for sustainable development
(Jon Lane, WSSCC, 2007) Quote: At present, about half the planet
is clean and about half is, literally, shitty: covered in millions of tons of
shit annually by people who lack the dignity and convenience of basic sanitation
facilities. This is a world of two halves, a job half-done. Half the world's
people have sanitation (collection, transport, treatment and disposal or re-use
of human excreta, domestic wastewater and solid waste and associated hygiene
promotion) and half do not even have basic sanitation (disposal of human
The great promise
of the International Year of Sanitation (Jon Lane in Waterlines, October 2008)
Sanitation needs in Africa − a vast amount of work to be done!
Africa and the Millennium
Development Goals: 2007 Update (UN, 2007)
Quote: Only 42 per cent of people in
rural areas had access to clean water, according to the latest 2004 data, and 63 per cent of
the entire population lacked access to basic sanitation facilities – down only
barely from 68 per cent in 1990, and far from the target of cutting this
proportion in half by 2015.
UN Commission on Sustainable Development (13th session, 2005):
Sanitation: Policy Options and Possible Actions to Expedite Implementation
UN Commission on Sustainable Development (12th session, 2004):
Sanitation: Progress in meeting the goals, targets and commitments of Agenda
21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation
Global Sanitation Fund (WSSCC
History of the
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s involvement in the study of
Read the Declarations of the Regional Sanitation Conferences
clip: Sanitation for the developing world (Reuters/WaterAid, 2008) −
Video: Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (Clinton Global
Initiative, 2008) − 60 minutes!
Quiz: What do you know about sanitation? (World Bank,
IYS 2008 websites: World Health Organization World Water Council WEDC
IRC International Water & Sanitation Centre
German Toilet Organization
Sanitation in the
News − IYS 2008 (Environmental Health/USAID)
House of Commons 'Early Day Motion
' on IYS 2008 (12 March 2007)
► How many days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?
Is the World short of money?
NO, IT IS NOT!
people say that these numbers are too large and are over
ambitious. One has to ask too large compared to what? Too
large compared to the $70−80 billion to be spent this year in
Iraq and Afghanistan? Too large in relation to the $350 billion
that the EU and USA spend in subsidizing their farmers in order that
they can compete unfairly with the farmers of the developing
world? Too much in relation to the $1.5 trillion that those who
live in the USA will spend on their own health in 2004? ... I do not
See also: More money than sense (Economist, 2007)
Essential reading for IYS2008
addition to the reports etc. linked to on this page, the Ten Key WatSan Documents page, and the Unserved Billions page, click here for more IYS2008 essential reading and links to other
pages on this site.
►If we do nothing or too little too late, then things won't change much:
India's scavengers will still have to service other people's toilets (also here and here),
and Kibera slum in Nairobi will stay much the same.
International Year of Languages 2008
International Year of Planet Earth 2008
International Year of the Potato 2008
International Year of the Reef 2008
Polar Year 2007−2008 (actually March 2007 − March 2009)
is also the Year of the Frog − not entirely inappropriate as
the men in Tanzania who plunge naked into latrine pits to desludge them are
called “vyura” (Swahili for frogs)!