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What is the International Year of Sanitation (or IYS) 2008 ?


23 Jan 2009


Health & Consumers
Climate & Environment

Press release:

To put the spotlight on sanitation, the UN General Assembly declared the year 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. The goal is to raise awareness and to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to reduce by half the proportion of the 2,6 billion persons without access to basic sanitation by 2015.

Access to sanitation is also deeply connected to virtually all the Millennium Development Goals, in particular those involving the environment, education, gender equality and the reduction of poverty and child mortality.

What is EUREAU doing for the IYS 2008?

Although the primary task of EUREAU is to liaise with the institutions of the European Union, our European Federation and its members are deeply concerned about the MDG goals for water supply and sanitation.

EUREAU’s Members have contributed in raising awareness and emphasizing the importance of basic sanitation, clean water as well as access to a toilet –not only in Europe but in the whole world – as a Human Right, fundamental for health and for the life itself.

In this frame, they have taken several initiatives and actions to help achieve the MDG through knowledge exchange in sanitation, water scarcity, flooding and climate change adaptation & mitigation solutions. EUREAU has also actively participated in several European Commission working groups on sanitation.

EUREAU members have also actively contributed, individually or through their national associations, to raise awareness across Europe, in all publics, about the importance od sanitation. Examples of such initiatives have been:


-          Using the World Water Day on March 22nd to put focus on sanitation and health and make the relation to International Year of Sanitation.

-          Exhibitions, information campaigns and open water and waste water treatment plants to the public

-          Events for school children and high school students, some in association with UNICEF and other aid agencies

-          Direct and in-kind support to international conferences and exhibitions focusing on the International Year of Sanitation

-          Articles in national and international professional journals and magazines

-          Sponsoring sanitation projects in developing countries

-          Training of development workers before they go to foreign countries.

-          Supporting and sponsoring guidebooks and reports on sanitation and water reuse.


Who is EUREAU?
EUREAU is the European federation of national associations of drinking water suppliers and waste water services. EUREAU gather 10.000 water & waste water utilities & operators across Europe that provide sustainable water services to around 405 million European citizens

Contact Person :

Gregory MATHIEU, Communication Officer

+ 32 2 706 40 80

+32 473 72 23 56