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Senate recognises human toll of poor sanitation

The Senate has formally recognised tomorrow, 19 November as World Toilet Day, helping to raise awareness of the fact that 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to basic sanitation.

The motion, proposed by Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Water, expressed concern that as a result of poor sanitation, diarrhoea is the leading cause of death in Africa and the second leading cause of child death globally.

“Each year, more than 1.4 million children die as a result of unclean water and poor sanitation,” Senator Siewert said today.

“The Senate has acknowledged the positive steps taken by the Australian Government in 2007, which saw the implementation of a three year water and sanitation initiative.

“The Senate is today calling on the Government and AusAID to deliver on its previous commitment to report publicly on their water and sanitation activities, including reporting on the proportion of development aid spent on sanitation.

“In August, the United Nations General Assembly formally recognised the right to water and sanitation as a basic human right (resolution 64/292). The Greens are committed to working wherever possible to ensure this right is upheld, and that assistance provided for those in need,” Senator Siewert concluded.


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