World Toilet Day
It's World Toilet Day - and that's no laughing matter. According to the United Nations, 2.5 billion people - that's one in
Today marks UN World Toilet Day. In Europe we might question the need for a special commemorative day for something that for us is so trivial and commonplace. But for many people around the world, this is no joke.
Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. Roughly one in ten of the world's
Now people are using indoor lavatories, teachers at the local school report no cases of diarrhoea among their pupils and on November 19th, World Toilet Day, Endashangwet will receive an award for being the first village in the area to be free from open defecation.
Across the world, 1 in 3 women risk shame, disease, harassment and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. That's 1.25 billion women - daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers. Facing each day without access to this basic necessity is not just an inconvenience; it impacts on all aspects of life, and it is women and girls who suffer the most. Having nowhere safe to go to the toilet also means an increased risk of shame, harassment and even violence for women and girls when they are forced to go out in search of a private place to go to the toilet.
But this World Toilet Day (19 November), there are 2.6 billion people across the world who have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. That's two out of five people for whom a toilet is an unimaginable luxury. Meanwhile, almost 900 million people are forced to risk their lives on a daily basis by drinking dirty water because they have no other option.
Proper sanitation and hand washing is the answer to child mortality in Togo, it is the starting point for the success of every other development programme that UNICEF work on. But before that we need to modernise the thinking of an entire nation. There's no point building toilets if they are not then used.