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TitleTackling a global crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsUN-Water -New York, NY, US
Pagination33 p. : boxes, fig., photogr., tab.
Date Published2008-01-01
Place PublishedNew York, NY, USA
Keywordsaccess to sanitation, advocacy, economic aspects, environmental impact, government organizations, health aspects, policies, sanitation, sdipol, sewerage, social aspects, urban areas

The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. 'Sanitation' might mean different things to different people, but its definition has to include 'the safe management of human excreta', usually by means of a toilet that confines faeces until composted and safe, or that enables them to be flushed away into a sewer. In the fullest sense, as understood for the IYS, sanitation includes environmental cleanliness; handwashing, garbage removal and wastewater disposal. The concept of sanitation as 'clean living', free from contact with excreta and other disease-carrying agents', now being actively promoted in Bangladesh, India and elsewhere, in which toilets are an important component, is a more attractive and saleable prospect in some settings than excreta management alone. This is captured by the concept of 'total sanitation'.
Around the world, 2,6 billion people do not have a clean and safe place to use for performing their bodily functions - they lack the basic necessity, a toilet. This hidden global scandal constitutes an affront to human dignity on a massive scale.
In an effort to open up discussion about institutional obstacles and find ways to overcome this, the international organizations acting together to promote the International Year of Sanitation have designed five key messages for concentrated activity during the Year. These key messages are : 1) sanitation is vital for health; 2) sanitation contributes to social development; 3) sanitation is a good economic investment; 4) sanitation helps the environment; 5) sanitation is achievable.

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