Basic water and sanitation are now seen as important human rights and as necessary for health and development.
- The UN General Assembly declares access to clean water and sanitation is a human right (July 2010).Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the General Assembly declared today, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.
- The United Nations has set Millennium Development Goals in various areas including poverty, education, maternal health and environmental sustainability. The goal for water and sanitation is to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.
- Water, Sanitation And Hygiene For The Prevention Of Diarrhoea by Sandy Cairncross et al in International Journal of Epidemiology 2010 says "We propose diarrhoea risk reductions of 48, 17 and 36%, associated respectively, with handwashing with soap, improved water quality and excreta disposal as the estimates of effect for the LiST model. Most of the evidence is of poor quality. More trials are needed, but the evidence is nonetheless strong enough to support the provision of water supply, sanitation and hygiene for all."
- Scaling Up Diarrhea Prevention and Treatment Interventions: A Lives Saved Tool Analysis. This article looks at the effect a comprehensive scale-up effort would have on diarrhea mortality. (PLOS Medicine article)
- A 2011 PLOS article looks at the importance of handwashing: "Handwashing before preparing food is a particularly important opportunity to prevent childhood diarrhea, and that handwashing with water alone can significantly reduce childhood diarrhea."
- In 2007 The IMF produced the Zambia Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
- A powerful article by the editors of PLOS Medicine on the right to clean water.
- An article in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Volume 6, Issue 10, Page 615, October 2006 entitled Watching The World Wash Its Hands Of Sanitation argues that drugs can reduce infections but goes on to say “The importance of access to safe water and basic sanitation needs to be recognised by the health, environment, and education sectors more prominently. Taking a more cross-sectoral approach will raise the profile of water and sanitation, and encourage primary investment that will contribute to the overall health and well-being of the community.”
- On 14th October 2009 the Zambian Economist released this comment ahead of the 2010 budget: "The success of every budget is not only measured by how well it will improve the economy but also how responsive it will be to the needs of the poor. Growth should therefore be treated as a means to an end and not an end in itself."
- A study conducted by Zambia’s Ministry of Health and supported by Operation Eyesight found that trachoma was 28 per cent more likely to strike in households that do not have proper toilet facilities. Read more>>
- A study in India by Duke University researchers showed that naming and shaming can be a more effective strategy for latrine building than offering financial incentives.
- A world toilet day is organised each year by the World Toilet Organization.
- Community-led Total Sanitation web site: This is an interesting web site bringing together information and professionals researching and implementing community-led sanitation rather than top-down imposition of hygiene and sanitation measures by outside agencies..