Tackling the neglected issues of sanitation and hygiene

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Problems with Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries

Sanitation and hygiene continue to be overlooked, with severe consequences for the health, education, and economic prospects of a large proportion of the world’s population.  Around 40 per cent of people worldwide (2.6 billion) do not have access to a safe toilet, and nearly 20 per cent (1.1 billion) defecate in the open according to the latest report from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme.  The evidence is compelling and shocking:  an estimated 2.4 million deaths could be prevented every year with safer hygiene and sanitation alongside clean water according to a recent WHO study. Most of these deaths are caused by diarrhoea and malnutrition, and are among children under the age of five living in developing countries. And the UN says the world is off-track regarding the sanitation target of Millennium Development Goal 7 – to halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015.

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