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I have to admit, when I first heard about “World Toilet Day” I chuckled. I thought it was one of those silly made up days. After I looked into it I learned that World Toilet Day is a United Nations (UN) observance, on November 19. A day created to bring awareness for all the people who do not have access to a toilet, and the urgent need to end the sanitation crisis which affects billions of people around the world.
According to GlobalGiving here are seven key facts we need to know about this problem:
- 40% of the world — more than 2.4 billion people — lack access to improved sanitation.
- Over the past 200 years, toilets have added twenty years to the human lifespan.
- As a part of the 2030 Sustainable Development goals, the UN hopes to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
- More people in the world have access to mobile phones than toilets.
- Poor sanitation increases the risk for malnutrition and disease, especially for women and children.
- Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death among children under five and is entirely preventable with access to proper sanitation and clean water.
- For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a $4.30 return in the form of reduced health care costs around the world.
Watch this YouTube video: Sanitation and nutrition: Let’s break the vicious circle!
Okay, I know that was a little “real”, but In the words of founder Jack Sim, “What we don’t discuss, we can’t improve.”
World Toilet Day is THE day to bring attention to this crisis and to do something about it.
The Urgent Run is an annual run/walk for sanitation. Go to UrgentRun.com for more information.
You can also visit GlobalGiving for more opportunities to help.
Worldtoilet.org is another site with information on how to get involved.