In the year 2000, the United Nations agreed on the UN Millennium Declaration, in which they defined the Millennium Development Goals. In goal 7, Ensure Environmental Sustainability, it was defined that the UN targeted to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
According to the World Bank, in 2011 65% of the population of China had access to improved sanitation. However, that means, that still more than 470 million people, or nearly the number of people living in the EU, do not have access to clean sanitation.
This is where our Programme supports the rural population. In the very rural regions of Sichuan, it is still not uncommon, that people use an open pit latrine outside the house as a toilet. The digesters installed by the Programme are connected to the toilets and directly flush the digestion chamber, which works similar to a septic tank. This is defined as an improved form of sanitation by the WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP).
Providing the households with access to improved sanitation reduces the risk of many diseases like diarrhoea, trachoma or ascariasis and infections with parasites like hookworms.