Tag Archives: advocacy

UN Secretary-General launches the “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015”

United Nations, 21 June 2011—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, Ugandan Minister of Water & Environment the Hon. Maria Mutagamba, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, today launched the “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015” (http://www.sanitationdrive2015.org), a push to speed up progress on the Millennium Development Goal target of improving global sanitation by 2015.

The launch took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with members of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and other dignitaries in attendance.

The Millennium Development Goals include a target of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation. With 2.6 billion people – half of the population in developing regions – still without access to improved sanitation, the target is lagging far behind, and without urgent and concerted action globally it will be out of reach.

On 20 December 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon the UN Member States to “redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap”.

The resolution established a global push, “Sustainable Sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015”, to focus attention on the Goal and to mobilize political will, as well as financial and technical resources.  The resolution also made history by calling for an end to open defecation, the most dangerous sanitation practice for public health.

Over 1.1 billion people have no sanitation facilities at all, and practise open defecation. According to UNICEF, inadequate and dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene are the main causes of diarrhoea, which each year kills at least 1.2 million children under five. The organization says diarrhoeal diseases are mainly excreta-related; therefore it is crucial to protect people from contact with faeces. Improvements in sanitation can lead to an almost 40% reduction in illnesses caused by diarrhoea.

Achievement of the sanitation goal, UNICEF says, will have far-reaching and lasting effects on the health and well-being of millions of people.

WSSCC is playing a key role in developing the advocacy strategy and materials and will work collaboratively with other partners supporting the initiative.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation is an independent body established in March 2004 by the UN Secretary-General to give him advice as well as to galvanize action on water and sanitation issues. Chaired by His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands, the Board is composed of a wide range of dignitaries, technical experts, and individuals with proven experience in providing inspiration, moving the machinery of government, as well as working with the media, the private sector and civil society. See: http://www.unsgab.org/

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is an international organization that works to improve access to sustainable sanitation, hygiene and water for all people. It does so by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to provide sanitation to the 2.6 billion people without a clean, safe toilet, and the 884 million people without affordable, clean drinking water close at hand. WSSCC is hosted by UNOPS and contributes to development through knowledge management, advocacy, communications, and the implementation of a sanitation financing facility. WSSCC supports coalitions in more than 30 countries, and has a broad membership base and a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. http://www.wsscc.org

For further information, please contact:

Leanne Burney, UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation
Tel: 212 963 5003, Email: burneyl@un.org

Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF Media
Tel: 212 326 7586, Email: rwallace@unicef.org

Martina Donlon, UN Department of Public Information
Tel: 212 963 6816, Email: donlon@un.org

Amanda Marlin, WSSCC
Tel 41 79 650 2629, Email: amanda.marlin@wsscc.org

Dave Trouba, WSSCC
Tel 41 79 261 5400, Email: david.trouba@wsscc.org


CALL TO ACTION: Supporting sustainable slum sanitation – the case for more investment from IFIs and donors

To mark World Water Day 2011, WSUP (Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor) has released a Call to Action urging governments, funding institutions and other decision-makers worldwide to invest now in urban sanitation.

Call to Action

Sanitation-related diseases are having a profound negative impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of children in cities throughout Africa and South Asia. Investing in sanitation is one of the most cost-effective means of improving child health. We need a global programme to support investment in urban sanitation, and we need it now.

WSUP is a tri-sector partnership between the private sector, civil society and academia focused on addressing the increasing global problem of inadequate access to water and sanitation for the urban poor and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, particularly those relating to water and sanitation. www.wsup.com

WaterAid “remote control poo” video hit on YouTube

A video clip of a remote controlled poo chasing Londoners has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube, one month after its release on 7 September 2010. The video is part of WaterAid’s Dig Toilets Not Graves campaign launched in August 2010.

WaterAid is combining this fund-raising campaign with an online petition to put pressure on the UK Government to spend more on sanitation in development aid.

The remote controlled poo video is by far WaterAid’s biggest hit on its YouTube channel.

We have posted the clip before on Sanitation Updates, but here it is again.

Proper sanitation key to global health: WaterAid Australia CEO interviewed on Radio Australia

Adam Laidlaw

Adam Laidlaw. Photo: WaterAid

“The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health will not succeed, in my view, without safe sanitation embedded in its implementation”, says WaterAid Australia CEO Adam Laidlaw in an interview on Radio Australia. The Global Strategy, Laidlaw was referring to, was launched on 22 September 2010 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN global summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “What we didn’t hear from this summit”, says Laidlaw, “was that sanitation underpins the success of a whole range of MDGs”.

Listen to the complete radio interview (Radio Australia, 24 Sep 2010).

Dig toilets, not graves

The creative people at WaterAid have come up with another compelling TV commercial to accompany their latest fundraising campaign “Dig toilets, not graves”.

Watch the “Diarrhoea song

WaterAid has combined the fund-raising campaign with an online petition to “put pressure on the UK Government to build toilets in the developing world”. The NGO is urging the government to increase aid to sanitation and water to £600 million (US$ 931 million). Nearly 7,000 people have signed the petition so far; WaterAid wants to get 20,000 signatures before 19 September.

Get more info on the campaign web site at www.digtoilets.org

Continue reading

WSSCC and Overseas Development Institute Publish Background Note on sanitation and hygiene advocacy

In 2009 WSSCC worked with the international NGO Tearfund and UK-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to examine how sector professionals advocate for sanitation and hygiene to health professionals – and how to improve that advocacy.

A number of leading sanitation and hygiene specialists provided input as well as professionals from the health sector and WSSCC National Coordinators. The outcomes are summarized in an ODI Background Note [1], which examines how health practitioners perceive sanitation and hygiene issues, how sanitation and hygiene professions can strengthen the case for improved services, and what the capacity and research needs are vis-à-vis training health staff in preventive sanitation- and hygiene-based interventions.

[1] Newborne, P. (2010). Making the case for sanitation and hygiene: opening doors in health. (Background note / ODI). London, UK, Overseas Development Institute (ODI). 6 p. : 4 boxes, 1 tab. 9 ref.
Download full document [PDF file]

WASHwatch.org: a new advocacy resource for civil society

A new online advocacy tool for the WASH sector is being developed. The website www.WASHwatch.org aims to make it easy for civil society to monitor their governments’ political declarations on WASH, such as eThekwini in Africa and SACOSAN in South Asia. Civil society organisations (CSOs) can also upload government budget data to compare how countries are prioritising the sector.

WASHwatch.org is currently under development and only accessible to registered users. Pages for Nepal and Nigeria have the most complete information so far. A public version will be available in the near future.

WASHwatch.org aims to make advocacy easier in the following ways:

  • Easy comparison of different countries’ progress against political commitments like eThekwini and SACOSAN.
  • Easy tracking of government budgets for WASH, and quick comparison to neighbouring countries
  • Easy printing of the data to take to a meeting

Source: Serena O’Sullivan, End Water Poverty blog, 27 May 2010