Water, sanitation, and hygiene are more than services – they are human rights. It is our collective and individual duty and obligation to make them universally accessible.
This is a book chapter taken from Sustainable Sanitation For All: Experiences, Challenges and Innovations.
Sustainable Development Goal Target 6.2 aims, by 2030, to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation (OD), paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations. If we are serious about leaving no one behind, we will need to put human beings first, and infrastructure designed to serve them second. Many individuals and groups cannot use sanitation and hygiene facilities due to physical or societal restrictions placed on them by their gender, disability, age, caste, religion, gender, or poverty.
Non-discrimination should be embedded into policy and practice, so that people’s realities, needs, and demands are clearly articulated and matched with budgets, adapted public facilities on the ground, more equitable sharing of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) burdens, and systematic, meaningful participation in decision-making and monitoring. This chapter summarizes the testimonies and aspirations of individuals across a number of Asian countries who were never asked what they need and who are excluded from services. They remind us that in order to leave no one behind we will need to listen to them, involve them fully at all key stages, and forge true partnerships to achieve shared goals.