Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Water & Sanitation

Let's support sanitation for all

Flickr: Mangus Franklin

Can you imagine what it would be like to not have access to clean water, sanitation or hygiene?


For people living in extreme poverty, this is a reality.

UNICEF 2012/ Dhirag Singh

2.5 billion people don't have access to a toilet or latrine. That means they must practice open-defecation (meaning quite frankly, shitting in the open).

Global Poverty Project

When people lack access to clean, safe toilets, they become vulnerable to attacks as they leave the safety of their homes to relieve themselves out in the open.

Flickr: Jenny Mealing

Equally problematic, the waste which is left out in the open is full of dangerous bacteria and when not disposed of correctly it makes its way into the food supply, causing people to become sick.

Flickr: Binayak Das

For those who do have access to a toilet, cleanliness and privacy may be an issue, causing girls to miss school when they have their periods, and in some cases, drop out.

Flickr: VictorDobai

And how about water? Well, 783 million people do not have access to a clean, safe water source.


That means women and children are forced to travel miles every day to fetch it, missing out on things like school or work- and it likely won’t even be clean.

Flickr: wateraid

That's a problem because drinking dirty water makes people sick.

Global Poverty Project

NOW is the time to change this.

Flickr: Julien Harneis

Global Citizens have used their collective voice to campaign on two fronts.

V_Capt. John Severns, U.S. Air Force

We’ve been calling on US leaders to support the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2013, which would allow the United States Government to more efficiently increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Flickr: UNAMID

We’ve also been campaigning hard to get world leaders to make strong commitments towards increasing access to sanitation, and make it a priority as they establish the agenda for the next 15 years.

UNICEF- MLWB2012-01629/ Christine Nesbitt

Now, at this year’s festival, world leaders like India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join us and demonstrate their commitment to universal access to sanitation.

Flickr: Dietmar Temps

But the fight's not over yet. Alongside the world’s poor, today we have a huge opportunity to make a major progress towards the end of extreme poverty. The Water for the World Act will ensure more people have access to clean water & sanitation.


Christina Nuñez