Archives for posts with tag: sanitation
A Call for “Help” from ‪#‎SouthSudan‬ !
By, Susan Sacirbey via DiplomatArtist Buzz
Close to South Sudan’s fifth year of independence in July, rival factional fighting erupted increasing displacement, food shortages, & sexual assault/rape for women in and outside of UN camps faced with the choice of food for their children or rape. –Read More–
Water, Water Everywhere but Not a Safe Drop to Drink
From Diplomat Artist Buzz — Clean water & sanitation are human rights — More —


Diplomat Artist Buzz on Sesame Street’s newest Global Health Ambassador

World Water Week

Clean water and sanitation are essential to maintaining health, business, and security between nations. Ending open defecation will reduce diarrhoea & enhance safety for women & girls who risk sexual assault when venturing to isolated places for basic needs.

Water Cooperation Essential for Sustainable Development

According to UNICEF: Every day, around the world, nearly 2,000 children under age five die from diseases directly linked to contaminated water, a lack of sanitation or poor hygiene. In war-torn countries like Syria, the situation is most critical for refugees.


The time has come to flush the use of manual scavenging performed largely by Dalit women down the toilet.  This task was stark discrimination based on caste and gender and is essentially the manual removal of human excreta from dry latrines and sewers.  Navi Pillay, the United Nations Human Rights Chief, condemned the practice: “Because of the nature of the work, manual scavenging has contributed to a self-perpetuating cycle of stigma and untouchability” and is a “deeply unhealthy, unsavoury and undignified job forced upon people because of the stigma attached to their caste.”


India has strong laws prohibiting caste discrimination, and Navi Pillay today welcomed recent efforts on eradication of the practice.


Thousands of courageous women from the Dalit caste marched to eradicate manual scavenging and for rehabilitation of those who performed it.  Wide-sections of Indian society supported their efforts. Last September, a new bill to ban manual scavenging was submitted to the Indian Parliament by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.


According to Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the two leading causes of preventable child mortality rates for children under five are pneumonia and diarrhea. By eliminating manual scavenging, this is a victory for women, human rights and dignity, and basic health norms for the women, their families, and society.  It is a victory for the global citizen.


UN News Centre Source


The United Nations human rights chief today welcomed the recent movement in India to eradicate manual scavenging, a practice traditionally relegated to Dalit women, and seen as a form of discrimination based on caste and gender.


In November, thousands of women of the Dalit caste – also known as ‘untouchables’ – began a 63-day National March for the Eradication of Manual Scavenging, advocating the elimination of this practice and calling for comprehensive rehabilitation of those conducting it. The march crossed a total of 200 districts in 18 states and will end on Thursday in New Delhi, the capital.


“I congratulate the strenuous efforts and commitment of the organizers, and of all the participants – especially the thousands of liberated manual scavenger women – who marched across the country in support of the many others who are still being forced to carry out this dreadful practice,” said the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.


Ms. Pillay said she was encouraged to hear that the national march has been supported by a wide cross-section of society and underlined that this degrading activity should be abolished and should not have a place in 21st century India.


In September, a new bill to ban manual scavenging and rehabilitate those who were forced to do it was submitted to the Indian Parliament by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment. The bill builds on the strong legislative framework already in place prohibiting untouchability and bonded labour, and adds a comprehensive definition of manual scavenging.


“India already has strong legal prohibitions on caste discrimination, so the key to the new law will be effective accountability and enforcement. It is also crucial that adequate resources are provided to enable the comprehensive rehabilitation of liberated manual scavengers,” Ms. Pillay said.


“This is the only way these grossly exploited people will be able to successfully reintegrate into a healthier and much more dignified work environment, and finally have a real opportunity to improve the quality of their own lives and those of their children and subsequent generations,” she added.



Susan Sacirbey


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PHOTO Credit: Leena Patel/UN Women


And, it does propel some important considerations of access to water as well as sanitation, health and productivity to the forefront. “Lack of sanitation implies the loss of millions of school and work days as well as enormous health costs:” Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, on World Toilet Day, (observed on 19 November each year). Developed countries are only able to improve life expectancy and reduce child mortality as governments began making substantial investments in sanitation.

$1 on Sanitation = $9 in Savings & Productivity:

“The sanitation sector is in desperate need of more financial resources, in both developing and developed countries, but investing in sanitation is good business and a smart deal,” noted Ms. de Albuquerque stressing that for every dollar spent on sanitation facilities, there is an average return of $9 in averted costs and productivity gains. Developed countries were only able to improve life expectancy and reduce child mortality when governments began making substantial investments in sanitation. Clean Water though does have its own UN Goodwill Ambassador(s) –Advocate(s):  Orlando Bloom & SHAKIRA.

“Especially in a period of economic crisis, it is fundamental to invest in crucial sectors that have a multiplier effect, spend the available resources more efficiently and ensure better targeting so as to prioritize the most excluded and marginalized” – In her report to the General Assembly entitled ”Financing for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation,” Ms. de Albuquerque underscored the need to increase and restructure financing in the water and sanitation to meet human rights requirements. The problem may be especially severe in areas recently affected by natural disaster and/or conflict.

More Money on Bottled Water than on Sanitation?

Universal access to sanitation by 2015 would require over $14.5 billion annually. “This seems a huge sum,” Ms. de Albuquerque pointed out. “Yet, put in perspective, it is less than what people in rich countries spend on bottled water each year.”

Based upon 2010 global annual assessment of sanitation and drinking by UN agencies, 95 per cent of countries reported that current funding was not enough to provide access to half of those without toilets. According to Ms. De Albuquerque: “Additional resources are needed for the realization of the right to sanitation, but a lot more could be achieved with the funds already allocated. Money is being spent in the wrong places. We need better targeting of resources aligned with human rights requirements.”

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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Photo Credit: Hoosier Insanity Blog Spot