World Toilet Day highlights global sanitation challenge

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World Toilet Day

The Millennium Development Goals to sharply reduce poverty by 2015 are set to fail the poor in terms of sanitation, according to Catarina de Albuquerque, the United Nations expert on the right to clean water.

Ms. de Albuquerque made her comments on the occasion of World Toilet Day, November 19th.

Access to sanitation currently ranks as the most-off track of the Millennium Development Goals, and one that will obviously not be met by 2015, says the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Catarina de Albuquerque added that "those who do not have access to adequate sanitation are overwhelmingly people living in poverty, and marginalized and excluded individuals and groups".

According to Ms. de Albuquerque, 7,500 people die every day due to a lack of sanitation, including 5,000 children under five years of age.

She said annually, 272 million school days are missed due to water-borne or sanitation-related diseases.

She added that access to sanitation facilities around the world, more than any other service, provides a window into the vast difference between the "haves" and the "have-nots".

World Toilet Day aims to draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

Duration:  1’26″

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