The health, safety and dignity of sanitation workers: a blind spot in safely managed sanitation

1 min read
Julius Chisengo, Group Operator UMAWA, 48 years old (right) and Cleophas Shinga, Group Operator UMAWA, 49-years old (left), empty the contents of a pit latrine at Kigamboni Ward, Temeke Municipality, Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania - February 2015.
Image: WaterAid/ Eliza Deacon

Many sanitation workers around the world face unsafe working conditions, yet their rights are not prioritised and their wellbeing is not respected, even though they play an important role in the wider sanitation service chain. Without them, crucial sanitation services would not function. 

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on sanitation aims to reach 4.5 billion people with safely-managed sanitation by 2030 and the safety of sanitation workers must be included as part of these plans.

WaterAid is working in partnership with the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the International Labour Organization to start raising awareness and advocating for the health, safety, dignity and rights of sanitation workers.