World Toilet Day History
World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues around the world. Poor sanitation and hygiene refers to lack of access to clean drinking water, toilets and showers. Poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Today, 2.6 billion people, about one-third of the population on the planet, do not have access to proper sanitation, a problem that kills nearly 1 million young children every year.
World Toilet Day was designated by the United Nations in July 2013. It is celebrated annually on November 19 as people all over the world take action and support the basic human right of access to clean water and sanitation.
World Toilet Day Facts & Quotes
- The theme for World Toilet Day in 2015 was Sanitation and Nutrition.
- 1 in 8 people in the world practices open defecation, meaning that the person must relieve him/herself without cover or shelter from other people.
- The average person spends one hour and 42 minutes a week on the toilet, or nearly 92 days over his/her lifetime.
- Diarrhea is the second leading cause of deaths in children under age 5 in developing countries. Diarrhea is primarily due to poor hygiene and sanitation
The 2030 Agenda calls on us to renew our efforts in providing access to adequate sanitation worldwide. We must continue to educate and protect communities at risk, and to change cultural perceptions and long-standing practices that hinder the quest for dignity. – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
World Toilet Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Watch a movie about toilets and the importance of sanitation. Some suggestions are: Guts For Change (2015), A New Culture of Water (2004) and A Thirsty World (2012).
- Spread awareness by using the hashtag #WorldToiletDay, #WeCantWait and #ToiletAccessIsARight.
- Tour a local sanitation plant. Sanitation plants throughout the US exist to recycle and clean water while properly disposing of human excrement and other waste.
- Donate to the World Toilet Organization. All proceeds are used by the organization to help break the taboo around the toilet and sanitation crisis. They help lobby governments, public and private sector stakeholders to prioritize sanitation on the agenda.
- Read a book about toilets and the importance of sanitation. Some suggestions are: Sanitation & Water Supply in Low-Income Countries, Sitting Pretty An Uninhibited History of the Toilet and The Big Necessity.