Water and Sanitation

The right to water and the right to sanitation are two inseparable rights.

The reality of access to sanitation in the so-called developing countries

With 2.6 billion people without access to basic sanitation, sanitation remains the most neglected issue on the international agenda. While the issue of drinking water is the subject of attention from all stakeholders, wastewater management is at best boring and at worst taboo in many cultures because it deals with such unglamorous materials. On the scale of the African continent, 80% of wastewater is discharged without any treatment.

Access to water and access to sanitation, two inseparable rights

Consumed water is water which, after use, is discharged into the natural environment and which, in the absence of adequate treatment, degrades the quality of the resource. Access to sanitation, like access to water, is an absolute necessity. (Re)sources has always defended the rights to water and sanitation as two inseparable rights. Sanitation requires not only additional investment, but also education of the population in hygiene and environmental protection practices. This is a complex challenge.

Water and sanitation recognized at the same level by the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted, for the first time, a water and sanitation target to achieve universal and equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2030. This objective, which is certainly very ambitious, attests above all to a strong commitment on the part of all States to respond to these issues, which are vital for human development. Through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, water and sanitation have been recognised at the same level.

Recommendations from (re)sources

(Re)sources has always equated water and sanitation by arguing that :

* there is no viable drinking water project without a sanitation project;

* lack of sanitation is an aggravating factor in a context of global urbanization (sanitary bomb).

* It is important to clarify the terms associated with sanitation ("basic", "total", "adequate", "improved");

* Sanitation is linked to virtually all the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to the environment, education, gender equality and the reduction of child mortality and poverty.

* It is essential to put in place quantified indicators and targeted programmes to develop appropriate sanitation systems and genuine effluent management to protect health and the environment.

* Also, access to a sanitation system is not enough. Hygiene education among the population is essential to fight against waterborne diseases.