Celebrate World Toilet Day 2018, on November 19th
Raise awareness, take action.
World Toilet Day 2018 is about toilets and nature.
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially proclaimed Nov. 19th to be World Toilet Day; an opportunity to remember that for billions of people, toilets are a matter of life, health and dignity.
The purpose of the day is to bring attention to the 2.5 billion people around the world who live without adequate sanitation (it is estimated that one billion of Earth’s population simply defecate in the open).
Did you know that the toilet has saved more lives than any other invention in history? That’s right – more than seat belts, vaccinations or any medical device, modern sanitation has improved women’s equality, living conditions, health and even economies!
Of all of the modern conveniences that we have, the toilet may be the most significant simply because of the impact it has on our health and well-being.
The importance of sanitation (or the lack thereof) can be seen around the world. Taking a peek at this gallery of some of the worst toilets will tell the story. While we might find them horrifying, they are typical for much of the rest of the world.
By and large, our sanitation conditions in this country are the envy of the world. A large part of that is attributable to the flush toilet. You don’t believe that? There is a demonstrable relationship between the level of sanitation and the health of a nation. Take the nation of India, for instance. A World Bank Water and Sanitation Study showed that a lack of toilets in India cost that nation over $50 billion in 2006. In many countries the world over, water-borne disease is rampant. Major inroads can be made just by improving sanitation. One of the greatest ways to improve that is by providing flush toilets and working sanitary sewer systems.
Water and sanitation
Because fresh, potable water resources are becoming more scarce, improving human sanitation is key to reducing water contamination and pollution that lead to illnesses that would otherwise typically be preventable. Water-borne illnesses and diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, giardiasis, salmonella, and typhoid are just a few of the common water-borne illnesses that exist because of poor sanitation. These diseases are especially hard on the elderly and young children.
World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste. The World Toilet Organization was founded in 2001 and declared November 19th as World Toilet Day (WTD). The United Nations General Assembly followed suit in 2013 by officially designating November 19 as World Toilet Day. WTD is now coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.
Sustainable Development Goal #6
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, (and specifically Goal #6) launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to a safely-managed household toilet by 2030. This makes sanitation central to eradicating extreme poverty.
The U.N. is promoting the concept that it is important to build toilets and sanitation systems that work in harmony with our environment. When nature calls, we have to listen and act. Nature-based solutions (NBS) to the sanitation and water crisis harness the power of ecosystems:
- 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 waste water before it is released back into water courses.
WTD also brings to the forefront the health, emotional and psychological consequences the poor endure as a result of inadequate sanitation. Thanks to American-Standard, more resources and attention are being brought to bear on this important initiative.
How close are we to achieving SDG #6?
The world is not on track to reach this by 2030, according to the UN Synthesis Report 2018 on water and sanitation.
Getting back to the theme of toilets and nature, and as previously mentioned, by the year 2030 the Sustainable Development Goal’s aim is to reach everyone with sanitation, and reduce by 50% the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reuse of water.
For that to be achieved, all human waste needs to be contained, transported, treated and disposed of in a safe and sustainable way. For billions of people around the world, sanitation systems are either non-existent or ineffective. Human waste gets out and killer diseases spread, meaning progress in health and child survival is seriously undermined.
What can we do to help?
In celebration of World Toilet Day, and in the interests of promoting sanitation, and conserving water, one small thing that we can do is check to see that our toilets are operating properly. If it is leaking, ‘running through’, or it uses more than 1.6 gallons when you flush it, consider having it repaired or replaced.
Contact Brubaker Inc. to have any necessary repairs to or replacement of your toilet done today at 717.299.5641 or email us.
See also: So who invented the toilet that we know today?
1. ‘We Must Break the Taboos’ World Toilet Day Official website
2. World Toilet Organization website
3. ‘World Toilet Day, November 19th’ Gary White, The Huffington Post, November 15th, 2012
4. ‘Global Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH)’ The Internet Drug Index
5. ‘A tour of loos from across the globe for World Toilet Day’ Giorgio DeFaveri, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, November 18, 2011
6. ‘Raise awareness, take action — Nov. 19th is World Toilet Day’ Contractor Magazine Online, November 16, 2015
7. ‘Worst Toilets Ever’ Contractor Magazine Online, September 16, 2014 and November 16, 2016
8. ‘Inadequate Sanitation Costs India the Equivalent of 6.4 per cent of GDP’ World Bank.org
9. ‘The True Cost of Poor Sanitation’ Lixil.com
10. ‘Sustainable Development Goal 6’ UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
11. ‘Where does our poo go?’ World Toilet Day online
12. US Centers for Disease Control
13. Sustainable Development Goal 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation UN Water.org