World Toilet Day 2022 gives attention to the impact of the sanitation crisis on groundwater. This observance, held annually since 2013, celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: sanitation and water for all by 2030.
The 2022 campaign ‘Making the invisible visible’ explores how inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, polluting underground water resources.
However, this problem seems to be invisible. Invisible because it happens underground. Invisible because it happens in the poorest and most marginalized communities.
Groundwater is the world’s most abundant source of freshwater. It supports drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. As climate change worsens and populations grow, groundwater is vital for human survival.
The central message from World Toilet Day 2022 is that safely managed sanitation protects groundwater from human waste pollution. Currently, the world is seriously off track to meet the promise of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2: to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030.
The campaign continues to urge governments to work on average four times faster to ensure SDG 6.2 is achieved on time. Policymakers are also called upon to fully recognize the connection between sanitation and groundwater in their plans to safeguard this vital water resource.
Key messages from World Toilet Day 2022:
- Safe sanitation protects groundwater. Toilets that are properly sited and connected to safely managed sanitation systems, collect, treat and dispose of human waste, and help prevent human waste from spreading into groundwater.
- Sanitation must withstand climate change. Toilets and sanitation systems must be built or adapted to cope with extreme weather events, so that services always function and groundwater is protected.
- Sanitation action is urgent. We are seriously off track to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. With only eight years left, the world needs to work four times faster to meet our promise.
Full information, including stories from around the world, can be found at the link below.