19 November: World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day was observed on 19 November 2016 with an aim to motivate millions across the world on issues of sanitation. The theme for 2016 World Toilet Day is ‘toilets and jobs’.
The theme, toilets and jobs, focuses on how sanitation or the lack of it can impact livelihoods of people. The day also calls for action to help about 2.4 billion people who live without a toilet.
Important Fact: The Sustainable Development Goals, which was launched in 2015, also includes a target to ensure everyone everywhere has access to toilets by 2030. Sanitation is a global development priority.
• World Health Organization (WHO)/UNICEF 2015 report says that 2.4 billion People live without improved sanitation. It also says that one in every ten people has no choice but to defecate in the open.
• WAS-Hwatch 2016 says that diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water annually kills 315000 children.
• International Labour Organization (ILO) 2003 report says poor sanitation and hygiene practices helps in transmitting disease at work. This transmission causes 17 percent of all workplace deaths.
• Hutton 2012 report says that loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5 percent of GDP
UN General Assembly in July 2013 adopted the “Sanitation for All’ Resolution (A/RES/67/291), designating 19 November as World Toilet Day. The Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with Governments and relevant stakeholders.
Importance of Toilet
Availability of toilets, play an important role in improving health as well as in protecting people’s safety and dignity, particularly women’s and girls’. It also helps in creating string economy.