19 November is World Toilet Day, a day to take action and raise awareness about people who do not have access to basic sanitation – despite the human right to water and sanitation.
Today 2.4 billion people do not have access to a basic toilet. Almost 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Without good sanitation, women and children are particularly at risk of disease and malnutrition. This is why the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 designated 19 November as World Toilet Day.
Communities across the world are coming together for sanitation-themed ‘Urgent Run’ walk and run events for World Toilet Day, with around 30 events being held in 18 countries in the lead-up to UN World Toilet Day.
While the format of the events varies – including fun runs, educational events, motorbike parades, awareness walks, public toilet cleaning programs, carnivals – they share a unifying message: calling for urgent action to end the sanitation crisis.
“It’s time for toilets to be treated as an urgent global priority,” said Jack Sim, Founder of World Toilet Organization. “The current level of effective action is far short of what’s needed given the scale of the sanitation crisis, with 2.4 billion people still without access to proper sanitation. By joining in the global Urgent Run, communities around the world are coming together to shine a spotlight on the sanitation challenge, and call for urgent action.”
One in three people on this planet still don’t have access to a clean and safe toilet. One thousand children die each day due to poor sanitation. And better sanitation supports better nutrition and improved health, especially for women and children.