WSSCC to host event on urban sanitation at UN Habitat III conference


The side event will draw attention to equal access to sanitation and hygiene in public spaces

facebook-cover-englishCredit: Habitat III

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) will host a side event on urban dignity and equal access to sanitation and hygiene in public spaces at the upcoming UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.

The side event takes place October 18 and will draw attention to and elevate the importance of sanitation and hygiene in public spaces for the realization of urban dignity.

Speakers will include the Deputy Director General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), a Tanzanian parliamentarian, representatives of Slum Dwellers International, WHO and UN-Habitat, as well as WSSCC’s Executive Director, Chris Williams.

Most public spaces in Africa, Asia and Latin America lack basic sanitation and hygiene, this is especially true for public schools, soccer pitches, transport hubs or open markets in towns and for parks, gardens, railway stations, and municipal squares in major cities.

It is estimated that one third of the 2.4 billion people without safe sanitation at the moment live in urban areas, which are growing fast.

The absence of safe and hygienic sanitation options forces the most vulnerable groups to avoid public spaces and prevents them from enjoying many of the economic and social attributes associated with these potentially safe environments.

The WSSCC-organized discussion will be an interactive panel of multi-stakeholder perspectives on urban dignity, sanitation and hygiene examining three perspectives: people who lack access to sanitation and must develop coping mechanisms; innovative approaches to improve public sanitation and national policy options that engender urban dignity and create incentives and opportunities to improve public spaces.

The theme of urban dignity aligns with and is the concrete realization of the transformative commitments called for in the draft document of the summit’s New Urban Agenda for sustainable urban development.

An investment in sanitation and hygiene in public spaces is not a panacea for sustainable development but it brings tangible results at modest cost that engenders urban dignity.

Habitat III is the upcoming major global summit formally known as the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, taking place from October 17 to 20th in Quito, Ecuador.

WSSCC is a UN-hosted organization dedicated to the sanitation needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people. Established in 1990, WSSCC is the only United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people. In collaboration with members in 150 countries it advocates for the billions of people worldwide who lack access to good sanitation, shares solutions that empower communities, and operates the GSF, which since 2008 has committed over $112 million to transform lives in developing countries.

Download the invitation in PDF format