The Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 (SDG6) has eight targets and 11 indicators that will be used to monitor progress toward the targets. Most are to be achieved by the year 2030. One is targeted for 2020.
The first three targets relate to drinking water supply and sanitation. Worldwide, 6 out of 10 people lack safely managed sanitation services, and 3 out of 10 lack safely managed water services. Safe drinking water and hygienic toilets protect people from disease and enable societies to be more productive economically. Attending school and work without disruption is critical to successful education and successful employment. Therefore, toilets in schools and work places are specifically mentioned as a target to measure. “Equitable sanitation” calls for addressing the specific needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations, such as the elderly or people with disabilities. Water sources are better preserved if open defecation is ended and sustainable sanitation systems are implemented.
Ending open defecation will require provision of toilets and sanitation for 2.6 billion people as well as behavior change of the users. This will require cooperation between governments, civil society, and the private sector.
The main indicator for the sanitation target is the “Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a hand-washing facility with soap and water”. However, as of 2017, two-thirds of countries lacked baseline estimates for SDG indicators on hand washing, safely managed drinking water, and sanitation services. From those that were available, the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) found that 4.5 billion people currently do not have safely managed sanitation. To meet SDG targets for sanitation by 2030, nearly one-third of countries will need to accelerate progress to end open defecation, including Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan.