News.Feb 14, 2019

Time to speed up commitments on SDG 6

Will the world reach the goal of safe water and sanitation for all? This year will be critical, since governments, companies and civil society must now demonstrate that they are willing to make the necessary commitments.

Access to clean water and safe sanitation is key not just to health but to societal development in general. Many countries and other actors therefore need to speed up their work to achieve the targets about water, sanitation and hygiene for all laid out in Sustainable Development Goal 6.

“The coming months will be very important, not least the Sanitation and Water for All Ministers’ Meeting in Costa Rica in April. It is now we will see if the international community really is willing to commit,” says Alejandro Jiménez, Programme Director Water Governance at SIWI.

Catarina de Albuquerque, Sanitation and Water for AllDr Alejandro Jiménez, SIWI
Catarina de Albuquerque and Dr Alejandro Jiménez

Earlier this week he and Therese Sjömander Magnusson, COO at SIWI met with Catarina de Albuquerque, Chief Executive Officer at the UN-based Sanitation and Water for All who was previously the UN special rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. They agree that there is a strong case to be made for increased focus on equitable access to water and sanitation for all. It has been estimated that investments in this sector pay for themselves four times over since they prevent unnecessary deaths, increase school enrollment and make it possible for more people to contribute to society.

How this can be put into practice will be discussed at the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Ministers’ Meeting in San José, Costa Rica, 4-5 April. The event brings together ministers and senior government officials from the water, sanitation and hygiene sector all over the world. Many other stakeholders will also be present and Alejandro Jiménez emphasizes the importance of working together across sectors, recognizing the role of water and sanitation for development.

“The meeting in Costa Rica is a golden opportunity for all of us in the partnership – from governments to civil society, the private sector, academia and external support agencies – to show our commitment towards the SDGs. It is time to make sure that everyone gets access to clean water and safe sanitation,” Alejandro Jiménez says.