Holding Leaders to Account for their WASH Commitments

Date: 26th April 2017

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Global Citizen has released their first Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) accountability update report, reviewing the progress achieved toward commitments made by global leaders on the Global Citizen stage since 2012. This is Global Citizen’s first update on WASH commitments and follows the findings from the organization’s first WASH report in 2015.

The report serves as an integral step to ensure that commitments fulfill the promises made to Global Citizens on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities in countries throughout Africa and South Asia.

Since 2012, Global Citizen, in collaboration with WSSCC and others, has secured a total of 1,674,207 Global Citizen actions, resulting in 53 commitments and announcements worth USD 18 billion, which are set to affect the lives of 945 million people by 2030.

Since August 2016, Global Citizens have taken 1,091,237 actions for the 2.4 billion people living without adequate sanitation and the 663 million people without safe water.


WSSCC and Global Citizen have been collaborating to raise the issue of WASH on the global agenda. Credit: WIZCRAFT

“Global Citizen has done more to elevate the issue of sanitation than any other institution,” says Chris Williams, Executive Director of WSSCC. “Specifically, it has mainstreamed sanitation into popular culture. Global Citizen has applied enormous pressure on global leaders to commit to roadmaps for improving sanitation, and it is heartening to see leaders being held to account for their commitments.”

The three trends addressed in this report include:

  • The need to address the full breadth of Sustainable Development Goal 6 and fill the gap left by the Millennium Development Goals on WASH
  • The need to maintain momentum and break the poo taboo once and for all
  • Financing WASH and SDG 6

WSSCC and Global Citizen at South Africa’s High Level Panel on Water in Durban last March.

Reporting on Nepal’s progress towards achieving open defecation free status by 2017, Guna Raj, WSSCC’s Nepal National Coordinator shared that sanitation coverage had reached 90 per cent by April 2017, compared with 62 per cent in 2014, before the earthquake. Nationwide, 4,722,351 out of 5,411,080 households had access to a toilet with just 688,729 –  or 12.73 per cent of households  – remaining. Guna Raj also said that when the earthquake caused such significant damage to sanitation infrastructure in 2015, the government invested additional funds towards sanitation.

The report also notes that Amina Mohammed, former Chair of WSSCC, committed the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) to ensuring that 15 million people are empowered to stop the practice of open defecation by 2020. Thus far, this commitment is on track towards being fulfilled.

With 28 new commitments and announcements for WASH — worth $2.4 billion and set to affect the lives of 486 million people by 2030 — WASH is proving to be one of Global Citizen’s most effective campaigning strategies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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