What you should know about World Toilet Day

November 19, 2019

Tuesday the 19th of November is Annual World Toilet Day. It’s an annual event, and it’s about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.

While sanitation is a human right, a staggering 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation.

Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432 000 diarrhoeal deaths every year and is a major factor in diseases such as intestinal worms and trachoma.

Children under the age of five living in countries affected by protracted conflict are, on average, nearly 20 times more likely to die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene than by direct violence. (UNICEF 2019).

Here are some more facts, via GlobalGiving:

  • 40% of the world — more than 2.4 billion people —  lack access to improved sanitation. 
  • Over the past 200 years, toilets have added twenty years to the human lifespan.
  • As a part of the 2030 Sustainable Development goals, the UN hopes to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  • More people in the world have access to mobile phones than toilets.
  • Poor sanitation increases the risk for malnutrition and disease, especially for women and children.
  • Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death among children under five and is entirely preventable with access to proper sanitation and clean water.
  • For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a $4.30 (around R14.80) return in the form of reduced health care costs around the world.

                                              Taking action

One of the global companies helping with the problem is Kimberly-Clark, who make BabySoft.

Kimberly-Clark is a founding member of the Toilet Board Coalition, a group of leading companies, government agencies, sanitation experts and non-profit organisations, which aims to develop commercially sustainable and scalable solutions to the sanitation crisis.

They also have the Toilets Change Lives programme, and since 2015, they’ve helped more than 900 000 people in need gain access to sanitation and learn about safe hygiene practices.

Stock images: Shutterstock

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