How do we achieve universal access to equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030?
The importance of sanitation and hygiene obviously transcends time and geography—but even where this is explicitly recognised in policy, the needs of hundreds of millions of global citizens remain unmet. The proportion of the global population using at least a basic sanitation service increased from 59% in 2000 to 68% in 2015. Despite the progress, however, 2.3 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation services such as basic toilets, handwashing facilities, disinfecting areas with soap etc.; 70% of these people live in rural areas. Such limitations lead to wider spread of serious diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children under 5 around the world.
Additionally, 892 million people still practice open defecation with 90% of them living in rural areas. The majority lived in just two regions with 558 million in Central Asia and Southern Asia and 220 million in sub-Saharan Africa. It is important to note that such a practice poses a much larger threat to females as they are vulnerable to sexual harassment and other forms of physical violence. Net of their socio-economic status, women who practice open defecation are twice as likely to face NPSV (non-partner sexual violence) as those who have private sanitation facilities. Net of their socioeconomic status, women who use open defecation are twice as likely to face NPSV as women with a household toilet.
Hence, it follows that a substantial effort will be needed to ensure equitable sanitation and hygiene and shared prosperity by 2030.
The focus of this challenge is not limited to providing equitable basic sanitation and hygiene facilities but to also creating a sustainable ecosystem that ensures, year after year, continuous development and increasing awareness. RB has time and again reinstated its commitment towards SDG 6.2 by working tirelessly with local communities, government, NGOs and various charitable organisations around the world to improve levels of sanitation and end open defecation.
Most notable examples are RB’s 5-year Banega Swatch India, Dettol School Hygiene initiatives and Hoga Saaf Pakistan (Make Pakistan Clean). The idea behind these rigorous campaigns is to increase overall awareness/education on benefits of handwashing with special focus on educating the young, pregnant women and the most vulnerable, to install crucial sanitation infrastructure such as toilets and handwashing facilities and empower females within local communities and rural areas so as to fight sexual harassment and physical violence against women.
Working together with governments, NGOs and local partners , RB has been successful in delivering programmes and campaigns that are driving sustainable behavioural changes and access to basic water and sanitation in communities across the world.
RB is proud to support the Lead2030 challenge for SDG 6. This challenge seeks to support solutions which work to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of rural communities in developing economies where basic infrastructure is still lacking. There should be a particular focus on children, women/girls and those in the most vulnerable.
Applicants should demonstrate impact in at least one of the following areas:
- Incentivise and educate vulnerable females in rural communities to alleviate the practice of open defecation to not only prevent the spread of life threatening diseases but also to empower females to feel safe in their own communities.
- Drive focused behaviour change to ensure good hygiene practice and educate on self-sufficient practices to reduce the spread of preventable disease such as diarrhoea.
- Ensure basic sanitation facilities are not just developed but are sustainable in the long term allowing communities to feel empowered to maintain solutions for generations to come.
The winning solution will receive
- A $50,000 grant from RB
- 12 months of mentorship from a team of RB employees and partners. The mentorship team will work to accelerate your solution by assisting with aspects such as:
- Business strategy
- Best practices for data collection
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Product design