World Toilet Day – 19 November 2018
World Toilet Day, celebrated on 19th November, is about taking action to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030. This is part of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Sanitation and Water. Toilets save lives, because human waste spreads killer diseases. World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
According to the United Nations, 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practise open defecation. The impact of exposure to human faeces on this scale has a devastating impact upon public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.
The theme of this year’s World Toilet Day is “When Nature Calls”. It is meant to highlight the fact that billions of people do not have clean or available toilets, something that many people take for granted. The tag line of this year’s campaign is “When nature calls, we need a toilet. But, billions of people don’t have one.”
Schools and children are particularly affected by the lack of toilets, with one third of schools worldwide lacking any toilet facilities – a particular problem for girls during menstruation. 900 million of those schools do not even offer handwashing facilities – a critical barrier in preventing disease, according to the UN.
Nature-based sanitation solutions (NBS) harness the power of ecosystems to help treat human waste before it returns to the environment. Most NBS essentially involve the protection and management of vegetation, soils and/or wetlands, including rivers and lakes. Originally started in 2001, World Toilet Day spreads awareness about the importance of health and sanitation around the world.
The AIDF Global Summit will return to Washington in 2019.
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Photo Credit: UNICEF Sierra Leone/2015/Kassaye