For Safe Toilets for All, Embrace Change!

    Today, World Toilet Day, is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Around the world 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet, and 892 million practice open defecation. The consequences of exposure to human feces on this scale are devastating for public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world. Basic sanitation is widely recognized to have positive impacts on health and the economy, so why don’t cities do more to improve their sanitation systems?

    Building safe sanitation systems and restoring and maintaining existing ones is expensive, and the necessary investments can be unsustainable especially for developing countries. This is one of the reasons why the issue often falls low on political priorities. If we want to achieve change and live in resilient, sustainable cities with toilets for everyone, we have to try different approaches. It’s necessary to switch from the traditional models that have dominated the world of sanitation management since the 19th century to new and more adapted solutions. By rethinking sanitation, we can also improve the governance conditions and the performance of the service providers and attract new money into the sector for the benefit of everyone.

    Identifying innovative financial mechanisms to accelerate sanitation services is something the World Water Council has been working on for the past three years. In March, the Council released its breakthrough report “Increasing Financial Flows for Urban Sanitation” and a set of policy recommendations addressed to local authorities and decision makers at all levels to support them in tackling the sanitation crisis. To celebrate World Toilet Day, the Council is releasing the Spanish, French and Portuguese versions.

    Be bold and embrace innovation! Download the reports here.