Media playback is unsupported on your device

Sanitation ‘biggest’ challenge of 21st Century

November 19th has been designated as World Toilet Day by the UN.

Its aim is to draw attention to the huge impact that issues such as a lack of sanitation have, on hundreds of millions of people around the globe.

Margaret Batty, WaterAid's director of policy and campaigns, told the Today programme that the issue is "the biggest global development challenge of the 21st Century".

She noted that "One in three people don't have access to toilets", while adding that the world's "second biggest killer of children under five is diarrhoea".

Ms Batty explained: "These problems were completely preventable.

"The UN estimates that for every $1 invested in sanitation you get a $4 return".

"This funding means children have a better education, and less money is spent on health services," she added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 19 November 2013.

  • 19 Nov 2013
  • From the section Health