Presenting target 6.2 on sanitation and hygiene

“By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations”

In 2015, some 2.4 billion people were still using unimproved sanitation facilities, of which a third practised open defecation; this makes the MDG target on sanitation one of those that is lagging behind most of the others. Source: Millennium Development Goals Report (2015). (Photo credit: Antony Robbins)

In 2015, some 2.4 billion people were still using unimproved sanitation facilities, of which a third practised open defecation; this makes the MDG target on sanitation one of those that is lagging behind most of the others. Source: Millennium Development Goals Report (2015). (Photo credit: Antony Robbins)

What is target 6.2 about?

Target 6.2 aims for adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. “Adequate” implies a system that safely separates excreta from human contact throughout the sanitation chain, either through safe containment and disposal in situ, or through safe transport and treatment/reuse off premises.

A safely managed sanitation chain is essential to protect the health of individuals and communities, as well as the environment. For example, leaking latrines and raw wastewater can spread disease and provide a breeding place for mosquitoes, as well as polluting groundwater and surface water (targets 6.3 and 6.6) including potential sources of drinking water (target 6.1).

Hygiene, including handwashing with soap and water after defecation and before food preparation and intake, is equally as important as a safely managed sanitation chain for limiting the spread of communicable diseases.

Global indicator 6.2.1 Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a handwashing facility with soap and water

Definition: Population using an improved sanitation facility at the household level that is not shared with other households and where excreta is safely disposed of in situ or treated off site, including a handwashing facility with soap and water in the household. Improved sanitation facilities include flush or pour flush toilets to sewerage systems, septic tanks or pit latrines, improved pit latrines (pit latrines with a slab or ventilated pit latrines) and composting toilets. A handwashing facility is a device to contain, transport or regulate the flow of water to facilitate handwashing.

Responsible for global compilation of data: UNICEF/WHO on behalf of UN-Water