World Toilet Day is observed on 19th November every year. The day aims to develop awareness about the importance of toilets in developing and maintaining a healthy society.
World Toilet Day provides an opportunity to reach out to about 2.4 billion people around the world who don’t have access to a toilet.
‘Sanitation for All’ is a global priority. It helps to make the people aware that open-air defecation is extremely harmful to general public health.
Historical Background of World Toilet Day
The historical background of World Toilet Day starts with the first summit on World Toilet held on 19th November 2001 in Singapore. This summit held on the inauguration day of the World Toilet Organization (WTO).
It was the first summit of its kind. The summit aimed to recognize the need for an International Day to draw the attention of the globe towards the sanitation crisis.
Since the year 2001, International Organizations particularly World Toilet Organization promoted Toilet Day for many years(Until UN resolution in July 2013 ).
The efforts of international organizations, NGOs, and civil society organizations helped in developing awareness among people about the importance of Toilet in a healthy sanitation system.
Based on strong commitments in many UN member states and appreciating the outcome of this awareness drive, the ‘Sanitation for All’ resolution (A/RES/67/291) adopted by the general assembly of UN in July 2013.
Through this resolution, 19th November was designated as World Toilet Day. So this day became an official UN day since July 2013.
World Toilet Day Theme 2017
From the year 2013 onwards, World Toilet Day is celebrated worldwide with a centralized theme. The theme is controlled by the UN. The historical themes of World Toilet Day are as below.
2016: Toilets and Jobs.
2015: Better sanitation for Better Nutrition.
2014: Equality and Dignity
World Toilet Day Facts
As per the UN and affiliated UN organizations following are some general facts.
- 2.4 billion people live without improved sanitation (WHO).
- One in ten people defecates in an open environment (WHO).
- The countries where open defecation is widely practiced are the same countries having a high number of children’s death toll under five years of age.
- Diarrhea caused by poor sanitation kills 315,000 children every year (WAS-Hwatch 2016).
- Loss of productivity due to illness caused by poor sanitation systems and hygienic practices is estimated to cost 5% of GDP in many countries (Hutton 2012).
The above facts are very miserable and we must take urgent actions to fight against this alarming global sanitation crisis.
What is Toilet Day?
Toilet Day is an International Day designated to develop awareness in the world about the critical beneficial role of the toilets in the world sanitation crisis.
Why Are Toilets So Important?
Toilets are so important because toilets play a vital role in developing the economy, improving health, protecting the dignity and safety of people especially women and girls. The benefits of toilets are described below in detail.
Benefits of Toilet
Toilet benefits are far more than our thinking. Some health benefits of the toilets are as below.
Benefits of Toilet-Time Saving:
Toilet plays an important role in economic development by saving valuable time for people.
If toilets are not available in the workplaces, schools, universities, homes … etc. Then it will require a lot of time to find a public toilet waiting in long queues or to find secluded spots to defecate. This time consumption will result in unproductive work hours.
Hence the nearest toilet access helps to save unproductive hours.
Benefits of Toilet-Dignity and Safety especially Women and Girls:
Without a toilet, people have to go outside to secluded places to defecate. Open defecation is very insecure, especially for women and girls. Women and girls are at a high risk of rape and murder.
Furthermore, when the young girls start menstruating, the absence of privacy place force the girls to stay away from schools, depriving girls of basic education right and after that decent job in the future.
Hence the toilet provides a secure place to women and girls where they can fulfill their needs very safely.
Benefits of Toilet-Reducing Health Cost:
Hygienic and improved sanitation conditions help in the reduction of health costs. Open-air defecation results in a spread of multiple diseases like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid… etc.
The treatment of these diseases affiliates a considerable cost. Through the use of toilets and a better sanitation system, we can reduce these diseases. Ultimately cost on health will reduce.
Diarrhea is one of the major disease-causing of the death of children. The children’s death toll can decrease through clean toilets and an effective sanitation system.
Hence the toilet reduces the health cost and reduces the children’s death toll.
Benefits of Toilet- Increasing Return on Investment in Education System:
Education plays a vital role in the economic development of any country.
If the budget is invested in providing toilets to teachers, students and separate toilet sections to girls, it will increase annual attendance in the schools. Lowering the risk of illness in students during schooling. Thus helping in maintaining the health of students.
Healthier the student healthier will be learning.
Hence the toilet helps in increasing return on investment in our education system.
Benefits of Toilet-Safeguarding Water Resources:
Poor sanitation systems can impact drinking water quality. The risks of water contamination sharply increase in the environment that lacks toilets.
Water resources are important productive assets. These resources are the property of nature and we are accountable for the effective utilization of natural resources.
Agriculture, energy production, fish production, transportation, small and large industrial processes all suffer economic harm due to increased treatments on water polluted by fecal contaminations.
Hence the toilet helps in the effective utilization of natural resources.
Benefits of Toilet-Boosting Tourism
Health, safety, and aesthetic conditions are the main factors that influence the choice of holiday destinations. Good sanitation is a pre-requisite for the boost of the tourism sector.
Hence the toilet helps in boosting tourism.
How to Care Toilet? Toilet and Sanitation System Care to Avoid Disease
We can avoid many fatal diseases that result from toilets. Care is better than cure.
The following are some general cares which can help to avoid toilet diseases in an effective way.
- Keep the toilet clean.
- Place and wear clean shoes dedicated to toilet entry.
- Make necessary hand washing arrangement within the toilet.
- Wash hands with soap after toilet use.
- Make sure the drainage of the toilet is working properly and there is no leakage of drain water.
- The toilet’s drain pipe is properly terminating into the sewerage infrastructure.
- The sewerage infrastructure is functioning properly.
- The sewerage and drinking water lines are not mixing up.
In of improper sewerage functioning, then without waiting matter must be raised to the highest level of authorities for immediate recovery.
Thus we can avoid and control toilet diseases through the use of proper care of our toilets and sanitation system. Care or cure, the choice is yours.
See Also: International Volunteer Day
How to Celebrate World Toilet Day – World Toilet Day Activities
The best way to celebrate World Toilet Day is to develop and spread words of awareness to as maximum people as you can. Some ideas for the World Toilet Day celebration are as follows.
- Visit the official website of World Toilet Day for logos, posters, banners downloading and spread them on social media.
- Evaluate the toilet and sanitation system of your home workplace…etc. and take appropriate measures by yourself or through the involvement of concerned authorities.
- Donate funds to authentic NGOs, government and civil society organizations working for the development of the sanitation systems.
- Raise Funds for sanitation projects and deposit at the concerned sanitation project office.
- Arrange an awareness walk with general awareness slogans and banners.
- Visit a school and voluntarily deliver an awareness lecture.
- Go to rural places and develop awareness among rural people about the importance of the sanitation process.
- Visit public toilets and insist the authorities keep toilets clean along with necessary hand washing arrangements.
Besides of above-stated ideas, there might be a lot of other ideas in the given context. So wherever you are, you can celebrate the event keeping in view the norms and challenges of that society.
In conclusion, the toilet plays a vital role in general public health. Let us spare some time and spread the words of awareness for the deployment and development of an effective toilet system worldwide.
Thanks for reading the article. Happy awareness about World Toilet Day on Event of Day.