Recognising World Toilet Day
Celebrated on 19 November every year, World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
Now in its 19th year after being declared by the World Toilet Organization in 2001 – events are held in over 122 countries to recognize the over 2.5 billion people worldwide that are still without proper sanitation.
We are fortunate enough to have modern plumbing here in the UK – but this doesn’t mean we should make light of the world’s problem. Not having access to proper sanitation is linked to poor health, disease, and death not to mention the impact it has on our environment and the economy.
The facts are stark:
- Over half of the global population or 4.2 billion people lack safe sanitation. (WHO/UNICEF 2019)2
- 2 in 5 schools around the world lacked basic handwashing facilities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. (WHO/UNICEF 2020)
- 40% – or three billion people – of the global population live without basic handwashing facilities with soap and water available at home. (UNICEF 2020)4
- Around 297,000 children under five – more than 800 every day – die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor hygiene, poor sanitation or unsafe drinking water. (WHO 2019)5
- Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. (Sato et. al, 2013)6
- Hygiene promotion is the most cost-effective health intervention. (World Bank 2016)7
- By 2050, up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year, creating unprecedented competition for water. (UNESCO 2018)9
- By 2050, the number of people at risk of floods will increase from its current level of 1.2 billion to 1.6 billion. (UNESCO 2018)
- If we limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, compared to 2°C, we could cut climate-induced water stress by up to 50%. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014))
- Extreme weather – expected to increase in frequency and intensity because of climate change – has caused more than 90% of major disasters over the last decade. (UNDRR 2015)
We want to help in bringing awareness to the world’s sanitation crisis. Please visit WorldToilet.org and see what you can do to help!