World Toilet Day: “toilets and jobs”

World Toilet Day: “toilets and jobs”

World Toilet Day, observed on 19 November, raises awareness and inspires efforts to reach the 2.4 billion people living without a toilet and almost one billion people that practice open defecation. This year’s theme, “toilets and jobs”, focuses on the impact that sanitation, or the lack of it, can have on livelihoods.

Toilets play a crucial role in building a strong economy.  Poor sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide. Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5% of GDP. In sub-Saharan countries alone, lack of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) costs more in lost GDP than the development aid allocated to the entire continent!

Sanitation is therefore pivotal to development. The sixth Sustainable Development Goal is dedicated to ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. Goal 6 includes a target to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030.

There is good evidence that investments in WASH can have significant health, economic and development benefits, providing excellent value for money. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of at least $4 is returned in increased productivity. Consequently, “hygiene promotion is the most cost-effective health intervention.”

Happy World Toilet Day!

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Innovations and technologies to support health SDGs are one of the key topics at the 2nd annual Aid & Development Africa Summit, on 28 February-1 March 2017. Gathering 300+ senior representatives and advisors from regional governments, UN agencies, international and regional NGOs, CBOs, investors and donors, research institutes and the private sector, Aid & Development Africa Summit looks at how technological innovations and best practice can improve aid delivery and development strategy in East Africa. With specific session dedicated to WASH & Camp Hygiene and Best Practice and Innovation in WASH.

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