World Toilet Day observed globally
The World Toilet Day was observed across the world on November 19, 2018. The day’s main focus is to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. The 2018 theme of the International Day is ‘toilets and nature’.
19 November: World Toilet Day
The World Toilet Day was observed across the world on November 19, 2018. The day’s main focus is to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and ensure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030. This is part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: sanitation and water, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030.
The 2018 theme of the International Day is ‘toilets and nature’. This year’s campaign is based on the narrative: When nature calls, we have to listen and act. The theme focuses on the need to build toilets and sanitation systems that work in harmony with the environment.
The key objective of the observance is to engage with communities and reaffirm the national resolve to sustain the Sanitation achievement. Since the inception of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the rural sanitation coverage has increased from 39 per cent in October 2014 to over 96 per cent currently.
The World Toilet Day focuses on nature-based solutions (NBS) to the world’s sanitation needs. Following are some of the solutions:
- Composting latrines that capture and treat human waste on site, producing a free supply of fertiliser to help grow crops.
- Human-made wetlands and reed-beds filter wastewater before it is released back into water courses.
World Toilet Day Commemoration in India
• In India, the day was celebrated with mass awareness and mobilisation activities across states and districts.
• The main focus of the campaign is on the usage of toilets, which is closely linked to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a Swachh Bharat by October 2019.
• The central part of the day’s celebrations in India was the Swachh Bharat World Toilet Day Contest, which was announced on the occasion by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
• The key purpose of the Contest is to encourage all districts in India to re-intensify the sanitation movement with a special focus on Open Defecation Free-ODF Sustainability.
• As per the advisory issued by the Ministry, top 10 District Collectors, top 3 State Mission Directors and State Secretary in-charge of Sanitation will be recognised and awarded by the Swachh Bharat Mission.
• More people in the world have phones than toilets. The world is better at communication than sanitation.
• Over billions of people do not have a safe toilet.
• Around 80 per cent of all the world’s wastewater flows back untreated into the environment.
• About one-fifth of schools worldwide have no toilet facilities at all, which is a big problem for girls during menstruation.
• Around 900 million schoolchildren have nowhere to wash their hands to stop the spread of deadly diseases.
• During menstruation, women and girls often stay home or quit altogether, when there are no safe toilets and private hygiene facilities at work or school.
• Presently, around 445 million women and girls have no other option but to go to the toilet in the open.
The world is not on track to reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: to ensure availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030.
All over the world, approximately 4.5 billion people live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practise open defecation.
Hence, human faeces, on a massive scale, are not being captured or treated thus, contaminating the water and soil that sustain human life.
The impact of exposure to human faeces on this scale has a devastating impact on public health, living conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.
The SDG 6 aims to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet and that no-one practises open defecation by 2030. The failure to achieve this goal risks the entire agenda for Sustainable Development.