Doesn’t sound particularly glamorous right? Maybe not, but it’s definitely important.
November 19th was World Toilet Day and is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve sanitation for all by 2030. It has been a recognised day by the UN since 2013 and has pledged to help people all over the world with inadequate sanitation issues. It’s hard to believe, but 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation. World Toilet Day tries to emphasise that a toilet isn’t just a toilet, it’s a lifesaver, dignity protector and opportunity maker for struggling communities.
673 million people around the world don’t have flushing toilets or proper plumbing where they live. 3 billion don’t even have a clean and safe place to wash their hands. This poor sanitation leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths in less developed countries every year. Globally, the goal is to ensure sanitation for all by 2030, also improving water quality and hopefully reducing disease. Not only is proper sanitation facilities essential for human health, but also environmental health as it can contaminate all sorts of ecosystems. In 2015 it was unsurprisingly agreed that sanitation is a human right, and therefore it has become a priority to work for those in need. In the past few years millions have been helped by fundraisers, but there is still a long way to go
Some world sanitation facts for you
- One third of all primary schools have lack of access to basic sanitation and hygiene services, affecting the education of millions of school children, particularly girls managing menstruation. (United Nations 2019)
1.5 billion people use health care facilities with no sanitation systems or services.
- Children under the age of five living in countries affected by protracted conflict are, on average, 5 nearly 20 times more likely to die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene than by direct violence.
- Globally, at least 2 billion people lack clean water and use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.
Although these facts are pretty shocking, they highlight the need for days such as this to bring attention to the lack of clean and accessible sanitation for over half the worlds population. An average person in the U.K. visits the bathroom between 6-8 times in a day, so next time you pop to the latrine have a think about how lucky you are to be able to flush.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit the World Toilet Day website. https://www.worldtoiletday.info/