WORLD TOILET DAY
Every year on November 19th, the world celebrates World Toilet Day. It’s not a day to use bathroom humor and is no laughing matter. The goal of this day is to tackle the global sanitation crisis and draw attention to those without sanitation.
Human waste spreads deadly diseases. Toilets may seem like a mere convenience, but they save lives. Toilets provide sanitation, which is a human right. It’s nearly impossible to get out of poverty without sanitation.
One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to provide sanitation for all by 2030. Today, 4.2 billion people throughout the world don’t have access to safely managed sanitation. This is more than half the global population. At least 2 billion people use drinking water that’s contaminated with human feces. An estimated 432,000 diarrheal deaths occur each year because of inadequate sanitation. About 670 million people around the world are forced to practice open defecation. Not only do toilets provide cleanliness, but they also help individuals maintain their dignity.
The lack of toilets and a sanitation system makes some cities unlivable. This includes Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The city contains very few public restrooms. Most of them don’t work or are unusable. On this awareness day, many toilet-making companies try to come up with solutions for cities like Dhaka to solve their sanitation problems. A Swedish company called Separett is working on a waterless toilet solution to help people all over the world. Thanks to awareness spread by World Toilet Day, villages like Majhi in Nepal, no longer have to resort to open defecation in fields and ponds around their home.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldToiletDay
If you’re like most people, you probably take your toilet for granted. But have you ever thought about what your life would be like without it? This is a good day to think about how different your life would be without sanitation. Another way to participate is to donate to an organization that provides sanitary toilets to households in developing countries. One such charity is Habitat for Humanity. Help spread awareness for this day by sharing on social media with #WorldToiletDay.
WORLD TOILET DAY HISTORY
The World Toilet Organization was founded on November 19th, 2001. They held their first World Toilet Summit that same day. During the summit, they established World Toilet Day. Their goal was to break the silence on the worldwide sanitation crisis. On July 24, 2013, the UN adopted a resolution called “Sanitation for All.” The UN encouraged Member States to implement policies to increase access to sanitation for the poor. The resolution also called for an end to open defecation. World Toilet Day was formally recognized as a UN day in 2013. Recent themes for World Toilet Day include:
- 2019: Leaving No One Behind
- 2018: When Nature Calls
- 2017: Wastewater
- 2016: Toilets and Jobs
- 2015: Toilets and Nutrition