• Mai Duc Nguyen

IELTS Reading Revision - The UN Spotlights The Impact of Sanitation on People’s Livelihoods

On World Toilet Day, UN spotlights the impact of sanitation on peoples’ livelihoods

To mark the 2016 edition of World Toilet Day, along with urging action to tackle the oft-neglected global sanitation crisis, the United Nations is also spotlighting the impact of sanitation – or lack of it – on livelihoods and work environments.

While the Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the 2.4 billion people around the world who live without a toilet and the rates of diseases due to inadequate access to sanitation and unsafe water, this year, the theme toilets and jobs focuses on how lack of sanitation impacts peoples’ livelihoods: the UN estimates that in many countries, it creates a 5 per cent loss in gross domestic product (GDP).

“Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy. A lack of toilets at work and at home has severe consequences, including poor health leading to absenteeism, reduced concentration, exhaustion, and decreased productivity,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message on the Day.

Meanwhile, 17 per cent of workplace deaths are caused by disease transmission – an incentive to invest in access to proper sanitation in order to avoid the approximately $260 billion that is lost every year due to poor sanitation and unsafe water.

According to the Secretary-General, “every dollar invested in water and sanitation leads to $4 in economic returns.”

Investing in appropriate toilets is especially important for women and girls,” he says, “so that they have private, clean and safe facilities, and are able to manage menstruation or pregnancy safely.”

Safe access to clean toilets is critical to implementing Goal 6 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls for clean water and sanitation for all.

“Delivering on this basic human right,” said Mr. Ban, “is good for people, business, and the economy. Let us continue working towards a world where everyone, everywhere, has adequate and equitable sanitation.”

Source: The United Nations

Questions 1-6: Decide whether the following statements are true, false or not given based on information given in the text.

1. The United Nations is keen on describing the importance of sanitation to people’s lives and work environments.

2. If problems related to sanitation in countries are solved, then their GDP figures can increase by 5%.

3. Absenteeism is believed to be the most negative effect of not having toilets in workplace.

4. Nearly $260 billion disappears on a monthly basis worldwide due to weakly-developed sanitation.

5. Women and girls in many countries face a lack of access to clean toilets during times of pregnancy.

6. Ban Ki-moon believes that building more toilets will bring benefits to only wealthy parts of countries.

Please find the keys here.

Is your country currently suffering from poor sanitation? If yes, what actions is your government taking to tackle this problem?

Is there a relationship between quality of sanitation and nutritional health? Please watch the following video to have an answer.

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