MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE
We face a global sanitation crisis.
Today, 3.6 billion people are still living with poor quality toilets that ruin their health and pollute their environment. Every day, more than 800 children die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene.
Inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, polluting the water resources under our feet. However, this problem seems to be invisible. Invisible because it happens underground. Invisible because it happens in the poorest and most marginalized communities.
Groundwater is by far the most abundant source of freshwater globally, supporting drinking water and sanitation systems, food production, industrial processes and the healthy functioning of ecosystems. In many areas, aquifers are close to the surface, making them particularly vulnerable to human-made pollution from the soil and surface water above.
Safely managed sanitation protects groundwater from human waste pollution.
Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 (SDG 6.2) is the world’s promise to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. This means everyone having access to a toilet connected to a sanitation system that effectively removes and treats human waste.
We are seriously off track to meet SDG 6.2.
We must work on average four times faster to ensure everyone has a safe toilet by 2030.
Groundwater’s vital role in water and sanitation systems must be reflected in policymaking. We must protect groundwater from pollution and use it sustainably, balancing the needs of people and the planet.
WHAT IS WORLD TOILET DAY?
World Toilet Day is held every year on 19 November. It has been an annual United Nations Observance since 2013. World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.