Covid19 has underpinned the importance of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) now more the ever witnessed before. With the pandemic’s onset, the importance of WASH – SDG6 is even more widely recognized and felt. Covid_19 is not just a health crisis, but also a WASH crisis and development and economic crisis. Covid_19 crisis will likely persist for some time. There is a severe risk of resurgence in infections; hence governments need to build capacities to alternate between reopening and restricting economies on a granular, local level. Response to covid19 should be consciously multidimensional: Both from a curative and preventive perspective.
The World Toilet Day celebration is a stark reminder of the importance of sanitation- more so the toilet. Some of the issues to consider include global status on access to sanitation, national coverage on sanitation, National Open Defecation (OD) status (coverage in % OD), basic latrines, improved sanitation, impact of climate change on sanitation, and vice versa.
The Desired Components of a sustainable Sanitation System include- the toilet – important for collection and Storage, completely separates human contact with their own waste, transport system, treatment, and Disposal – safe for the environment.
Access to water and sanitation is required to realize other human rights, including the right to adequate housing, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, education, and the right to life. We are concerned that the lack of progress on Sanitation and Hygiene (SDG6) is holding back progress on other SDGs such as education and gender equality. However, it is a well-known fact that the benefits of sanitation are always 5 times the cost.
KEWASNET calls upon WASH duty bearers – national and county Governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), policymakers- to take bold action; there is no time to waste, ACT NOW; to ensure there is-Proper Financing of Sanitation, reliable data, proper capacities for implementation, innovation, and proper governance.