World Toilet Day is celebrated every 19th of November each year. This day gives emphasis and focuses on the sanitation crisis on a global scale (e.g. open defecation) so as to continue achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 which aims for universal sanitation by 2030.
World Toilet Day was established in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization. In 2013, this holiday was declared officially by the United Nations (UN). The UN takes the helm of a task force composed of international agencies campaigning for a specific theme every year this day is celebrated.
Objectives of World Toilet Day
Feces or human wastes are dangerous to human health because they could spread deadly diseases. Hence, their proper disposal is a must. Unfortunately, the world is still not on track towards achieving SDG 6. Currently, there are still 4.5 billion people who live without access to a safe toilet and there are about 892 million people who still resort to open defecation (conducting bowel movement in open space like sidewalks, rivers, etc.). Human wastes contain microorganisms and could also be a place where microbes live. Hence, they could become a medium for the transmittal of various diseases caused by these deadly microorganisms.
That is why the UN puts greater importance to the celebration of the World Toilet Day so that there is a special day even just once a year where people can learn more about the harm of open defecation and why it is extremely important to have universal access to safe toilets. During this special day of celebration, people conduct various activities like seminars, conferences, construction of latrines for those who don’t have access to it, awareness campaigns, and many more.
World Toilet Theme
The theme of World Toilet Day is “Toilets For All. Leaving No One Behind”.
The motto of this year’s theme means leaving no one behind as the world strives to attain universal access to sanitation. Whomever you are, wherever you are, sanitation is the human right. And today, 4.2 billion people live without safely handled sanitation. We have to expand access to secure sanitation and leave no one behind.
History of World Toilet Day
The World Toilet Organization was founded on November 19, 2001. That same day, the first-ever World Toilet Summit was held which was the first off its kind. The organization recognizes the necessity of drawing global attention towards the sanitation crisis which is the reason for founding the World Toilet Day. The United Nations adopted the celebration and took the helm of the celebration in 2013. Over the years, more and more people, civil society organizations, private sectors, and government organizations and agencies have participated in the celebration of this day.
Date of World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day is always celebrated on the 19th of November each year. This means that the upcoming World Toilet Day will be celebrated on Friday, November 19.
What is the purpose of World Toilet Day?
The following are the main reasons why you should participate in the celebration of World Toilet Day.
To Promote Proper Sanitation
One good reason why you should participate in the celebration of this day is that this is the best day for you to promote proper sanitation. As mentioned above, our world still faces a major problem when it comes to sanitation. A significant number of people still practice open defecation, some of whom still do simply because of their culture and traditions. But if you celebrate this day by informing people about the dangers of such practice, then you can help in promoting the proper way of sanitation.
To Help Reduce the Spread of Diseases Due to Open Defecation
Also mentioned above is the fact that open defecation results in the spread of disease. You must stop this because you don’t want to become the next victim of such deadly diseases. You can do so by celebrating this day.
What is the theme of World Toilet Day? Celebration Ideas and Activities
The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the World Toilet Day as best as it can be:
Join Seminars on Proper Sanitation
One good thing you can do for this day is to join seminars about proper sanitation. This is highly recommended for you if you still do not know much about such a topic. You can even host a seminar yourself if you are already knowledgeable about it and you want to share such useful information with other people.
Advocate for the Use of Toilets
Another good thing to do for this day is to advocate for the use of safe and clean toilets. This can really help those people who still practice open defecation because it will prevent them from having a disease caused by human feces as well as prevent them from spreading such disease to other people.
Celebrate on Social Media
You can also take your celebration of this day on social media. You can, for instance, use the hashtag #WorldToiletDay to let your friends and followers know that you are also participating in the celebration of this special day.
Interesting Facts about World Toilet Day
- Around 60% of the global population – 4.5 billion people – either have no toilet at home or one that doesn’t safely manage excreta.
- 892 million people worldwide still practice open defecation – this means human feces, on a massive scale, are not being captured or treated.
- 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from feces.
- One-fifth of schools worldwide do not provide any toilet facilities – a particular problem for girls during menstruation.
- 900 million schoolchildren across the world have no handwashing facilities – a critical barrier in the spread of deadly diseases.
- Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
- Children under the age of five living in countries affected by protracted conflict are, on average, nearly 20 times more likely to die from diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene than by direct violence. (UNICEF )
- Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432,000 diarrheal deaths every year and is a major factor in diseases such as intestinal worms and trachoma.