More than 3.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation solutions around the world. This global crisis leads to poor hygiene practices, resulting in the spreading of diseases which can sometimes be fatal. According to a recent World Health Organization report, more than 40% of people live with this daily challenge.
As a nonprofit leader working in the global sanitation sector, Water Mission joins the United Nations (UN) in raising awareness of this issue by honoring World Toilet Day on November 19, 2023.
For many in the United States and Europe, going a day without access to a flushing toilet is a rare occurrence. But in developing countries and disaster-stricken areas, healthy and private sanitation options don’t always exist.
Following a disaster, Water Mission is often one of the first organizations to respond seeking to provide access to safe water and sanitation in accordance with the need. Shortly after the September 8, 2023, earthquake in Morocco, Water Mission’s Disaster Response Assistance Team deployed quickly to assess needs and learned of the lack of sanitation solutions.
Sourcing supplies from local vendors, Water Mission constructed nearly 220 latrines over the course of seven weeks. These latrines were placed in various areas where internally displaced people were staying. To date, more than 10,000 people have benefitted from this solution to one of their daily struggles as they begin to determine the next steps for their future.
Ongoing work continues throughout the world to address sanitation needs in developing countries. One of the UN’s current Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is to “achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation” by 2030. In addition, this SDG has a specified focus on ending open defecation and attending to the needs of women, girls, and those in vulnerable situations.
“Water Mission’s vision for sanitation and hygiene is in alignment with the call to action outlined in SDG 6.2, and we are committed to accelerating progress towards safely managed sanitation within our design and programming,” said Water Mission WASH Program Design Specialist Hannah Baker.
In 2022 alone, Water Mission provided 31,000 people, including schools, with long-term healthy sanitation solutions and 10,000 people with hygiene training. Additional sanitation aid is provided during disaster response efforts as needs arise.
Water Mission believes improvements in sanitation can lead to significant impacts, not only on health, but also on social and economic development. As we consider the needs of our global neighbors, we stand firm in our commitment to bring safe water and sanitation solutions to those in need.