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U.N. Makes Statement, WaterAid Releases Report On Sanitation To Coincide With World Toilet Day

“The United Nations independent expert on access to water and sanitation as a human right [on Saturday] urged States to allocate more resources to improving sanitation and promote efficient use of existing hygiene facilities, stressing that people are entitled to decent toilets,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “‘Lack of sanitation implies the loss of millions of school and work days as well as enormous health costs,’ said Catarina de Albuquerque, the U.N. special rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, in a statement to mark the World Toilet Day, which is observed on 19 November each year,” the news service writes (11/19).

“It will take two centuries for sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation,” according to a report by WaterAid, IRIN reports. “Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are being sidelined as governments concentrate on health and education,” according to WaterAid, which “calls on national leaders to commit 3.5 percent of their annual budget to the sector,” the news service writes (11/18). NPR’s “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday” examined “the problem of access to sanitation, and how engineers are making toilets better” (11/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.