The terms describing sanitation facilities in relation to the objectives set out by the SDG 6 refer to the health guarantees they can provide for humans and their respect for the environment. From safely managed facilities, most of them present in rich countries, to open defecation, which affects the poorest, there is a degressive scale that provides food for thought.
Unifying the terminology established by the UN to define the SDG 6 targets better is a necessary step towards improving communication in international cooperation. Halfway to the completion of the Agenda 2030, the analysis of the meaning of current terms defining this goal clarifies the scale of the problem and shows the way to solutions.
A new refugee aid project in Rwanda reminds us of the helplessness of those fleeing the almost silent wars and conflicts that continue to sow destruction and death. Most of them barely get by in camps with inadequate food, water, sanitation, and hygiene, but the worst thing for their lives and dignity is that their tragedy falls into oblivion.
On World Toilet Day, the UN calls for valuing this simple facility that is critical to attaining SDG 6 and enabling millions of people to move towards the eradication of poverty, the achievement of health, gender equality and dignity. The sanitation investment gap continues to divide rich and poor. If we do not close it, SDG 6 will remain a long way off.
The nomadic people spread throughout the Sahel are the ones who know best the harsh climate of the great sub-Saharan strip. The Fulani are a good example. Their ancestral shepherding, farming and food production methods and their deep-rooted sense of solidarity are the foundation of their resilience to poor management of land and violence. Now, climate change is added to the threats. The world must help preserve their ancestral wisdom.
Climate change is affecting wildlife reserves all around the world. In Africa, nature parks, which are a huge biosphere reserve, are experiencing increasingly prolonged droughts. In Kenya, schoolchildren follow the example of Patrick Mwalua, a pioneering conservationist, and are incorporating the saving of water and energy into their schoolwork. This the story of the short film Environmentalists, shortlisted micro-documentary at the We Art Water Film Festival 5.
The lack of supply in some Tanzanian schools has forced students to bring their own water to class every day. If they don’t bring a full water drum, they must return home. The short Water is not Life, finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 5, showcases the harsh consequences of water stress for schoolchildren in many East African schools that depend on rainwater to ensure hygiene and nutrition for their students and teachers.
Cities must grow with trees. They are essential for people’s health and quality of life and a key element for the attainment of the SDG 11: making cities inclusive, resilient, sustainable and safe.
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