World Toilet Day 2021: Current Theme, History, Significance and Key Facts

World Toilet Day 2021: It is observed on November 19 worldwide to raise awareness among people about the importance of sanitation in our lives in reducing diseases and creating healthier communities. Check here for more details about the day here.
World Toilet Day
World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day 2021: According to the UN, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces worldwide. Due to unsafe water, sanitation, and poor hygiene, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea every day.

World Toilet Day is observed on November 19 to spread awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene in driving improvements in public health, gender equality, education, economic development, etc. 

It is also celebrated under 'Swachh Bharat Mission - Grameen (SBMG)' by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti for promoting awareness on access to Safe Sanitation and felicitating districts/states for making a significant contribution towards Swachhata. 

Several campaigns focusing on the construction and beautification of Community Sanitary Complexes (CSCs) have been undertaken in the whole country over the past one year like Swachh Sunder Samudayik Sauchalay (SSSS) and Samudayik Sauchalay Abhiyan (SSA).

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World Toilet Day 2021: Theme

The theme of World Toilet Day 2021 is "Valuing Toilets". 

The theme of 2020 focused on the importance of "Sustainable sanitation and climate change". Around 4.2 billion people in the world are living without safely managed sanitation services and face various forms of discrimination. They can be left behind as they try to access and manage sanitation services or improve their current facilities. 

The target of Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to eliminate open defecation and ensure everyone has access to sustainable sanitation services by 2030, “paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations”.  Therefore, we should expand access to safe toilets and leave no one behind.  After all, sanitation is our human right.

The theme for World Toilet Day 2019 was "Leaving No One Behind" and in 2018 was "When Nature Calls".

The USAID's Water and Development plan is to help in closing the sanitation gap and to provide sustainable access to sanitation services to 8 million people by 2022. The approach of this agency is to engage the private sector to develop affordable products, strengthen sanitation, and encourage its use and maintenance.

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World Toilet Day: History

In 2001, the World Toilet organisation established World Toilet Day and was declared an official UN day in 2013. The resolution (A/RES/67/291) of declaring World Toilet Day titled, 'Sanitation for All' was adopted in July 2013. It encourages increasing access to sanitation among the poor along with a call to end the practice of open-air defecation which is harmful to public health. UN-Water leads a task force of international agencies to campaign around a common theme. Let us tell you that Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, also promises sanitation for all by 2030.

About 'Safely Managed Sanitation'

When a person has 'safely managed sanitation' that means that he or she has hygienic toilet facilities that are not shared with other households and excreta are safely disposed of in situ or transported and treated off-site. It is also separated from human contact. In this way, it protects people and the environment from disease agents. For example; flush, pour-flush toilets that are connected to piped sewer systems, septic tanks or latrine pits, ventilated improved pit latrines, composting toilets or pit latrines with slab covers.

Some key facts regarding sanitation and Toilet

According to the UN,

- More than 800 every day or around 297,000 children under five die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor hygiene, poor sanitation, or unsafe drinking water.

- Around 3 million people lack basic handwashing facilities.

- Sanitation crisis in untreated human waste is spreading diseases into water supplies and the food chain for billions of people.

- 80% of the wastewater globally generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.

- Up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year by 2050,  creating unprecedented competition for water.

Therefore, World Toilet Day raises awareness about sanitation and focuses to have access to a clean toilet for good health globally. Sanitation is a human right and to come out of poverty it is necessary to focus on sanitation.

Source: worldtoiletday.info and un.org

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