Senegal celebrates World Toilet Day 2021

As every year, Senegal celebrated World Toilet Day on November 19, 2021, with this year’s theme focusing on raising awareness of decision makers of the importance of proper toilet facilities, as sanitation is still underfunded in many part of the world.

According to a joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, 4.5 billion people worldwide, or 60% of the world’s population, do not have access to safely managed sanitation services, particularly in rural areas. Of the 4.5 billion people, 2.3 billion still lack basic sanitation services.

Minister of Water & Sanitation of Senegal, Serigne Mbaye THIAM, recalled the value of toilets in everyone’s daily life. Thus, in the face of poor management of sanitation systems, this day provides a platform for the minister to call on political decision-makers, technical and financial partners, civil society organizations, among other sectors, to address the underfunding and poor management concerns for sanitation systems.

According to Serigne Mbaye Thiam, it is essential to invest in the sanitation sector since, “a 2015 study shows that each dollar invested in the sanitation sub-sector can yield up to 5 dollars, thanks to the reduction of diseases and productivity gains, as well as the jobs created throughout the sanitation service chain.”

“Sanitation is integrated into the Senegal Rising Plan as a factor of social inclusion and sustainable human development. The sub-sector thus, offers prospects for the state to develop value chains with strong involvement from the private sector and the valorization of by-products, such as sludge and treated wastewater,” shared GGGI Senegal Country Representative Romain BRILLIE, during his opening remarks. “To achieve this, we believe that a well-designed system of fiscal incentives will promote the development of equitable access to affordable, sustainable, and quality water and sanitation services, while targeting poverty, promoting transparency, and minimizing distortionary effects. The financial sustainability of service providers will also be improved, allowing public resources to be leveraged to attract private finance.”

In the effort to the fight against the devastating health, economic, and environmental consequences of toilet deficiencies, the State of Senegal, with the support of its partners, has been implementing initiatives to support the most vulnerable households to have adequate toilets since 2005. As a result, awareness campaigns for behavioral change have been implemented through the community-led sanitation approach, commonly known as ATPC.

GGGI, through its mandate as an international intergovernmental organization, is supporting the State of Senegal in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as its objectives under the Paris Climate Agreement.

With the ongoing pandemic, it’s more important than ever to solve these crises, has they have considerable impacts on the health of the population as well as on the environment and economic development of countries.