European Toilet Day
A lunch-debate took place on 19/11 in the European Parliament at the occasion of World Toilet Day. Hosted by MEP Catherine Bearder, it started with a video message from UN Deputy SG Jan Eliasson, calling on the EU to reinforce its efforts to achieve the sanitation goal.
The sanitation MDG is the most off-track, with 2.5 billion people not having access to decent sanitation, among those close to one billion still forced to practice 'open defecation'.
Presentations providing academic evidence (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medecine), demonstrating the perspective for the industry (Unilever) and from Civil society (Wateraid and WASH United) highlighted sanitation as a central element of a decent life, the strong links between sanitation and health, education, nutrition, productivity and jobs. The high impact of the lack of sanitation on the life of girls and women, children and the poor in general was stressed throughout the debate.
At the occasion of World Water Day, a 'European Toilet Declaration' was launched, calling on the EU to champion the inclusion of sanitation among the SDGs.
While sanitation has been addressed, in particular in projects funded under the ACP-EU Water Facility and the MDG Initiative (24 million persons were connected to sanitation facilities since 2004), more needs to be done to contribute to the achievement of this goal. Today, in sub Saharan Africa, there are more people without access to water and sanitation than in 1990, the baseline for the MDG.
Commissioner Mimica also intervened on this topic on his blog:
More on the World Toilet Day and the European Toilet Declaration can be found at the following link: