19 November: World Toilet Day
The World Toilet Day was observed across the globe on 19 November 2017 with the theme ‘Wastewater’. The day aims to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
The Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 6, aim to reach everyone with sanitation by 2030 and almost half the proportion of untreated wastewater, increasing recycling and enabling safe re-usage.
Sanitation systems are either non-existent or ineffective for billions of people around the world, which is consequently undermining the progress of health and child survival.
Almost 4.5 billion people in the world live without a proper household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.
To enable a better living environment, the human waste needs to be properly contained, transported, treated and disposed of in a safe and sustainable way.
In addition to the profound impact that improved sanitation has on health and living conditions, safely-managed wastewater has massive potential as an affordable and sustainable source of energy, nutrients and water.
Declaration of the Day
• The United Nations General Assembly designated 19 November as World Toilet Day to help break taboos around toilets and make sanitation for all a global development priority.
• The resolution declaring the Day titled ‘Sanitation for All’ was adopted on 24 July 2013.
• It urged all UN Member States and relevant stakeholders to encourage implementation of policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor and end the practice of open-air defecation.
• It also highlighted the issue of sanitation as a question of basic dignity and women safety, who should not risk being victims of rape and abuse due to lack of access to a toilet that offers privacy.
• The resolution also recognised the role of civil society and non-governmental organizations in raising awareness regarding the issue.
• It also calls on countries to approach sanitation in a much broader context that includes hygiene promotion, the provision of basic sanitation services and sewerage and wastewater treatment and reuse in the context of integrated water management.