World Toilet Day is a day which allows ordinary citizens and everyday people to take action and raise awareness about the billions of people around the globe. Many people in American and other first world countries do not realize that around two and a half billion people do not have access to sanitary toilet facilities, and many of these people practice open defecation in fields due to a lack of sanitation facilities. It is estimated that roughly 1 billion people around the world still practice open urination and defecation, and this not only leads to disease and the spread of harmful microbes in communities but it also puts women, girls, and even males at risk for sexual assault or even murder.
Many people in countries outside of North America have no access to even the most basic and rudimentary toilet facilities, even though the right to water and to proper sanitation facilities are considered human rights that every person around the globe is entitled to. World Toilet Day is a day set aside to do something about this lack of sanitation, encouraging ordinary citizens to speak up and take action for those less fortunate. The date of November 19th has been designated as World Toilet Day by the United Nations, and one of the goals is to prevent rape for women and girls who must wait until dark and then go in open fields and other areas with no privacy or security. This is an unacceptable situation, and one that can be easily prevented with awareness and the development of proper sanitary facilities around the world.
No one should have to live in fear and hide in the dark just to urinate or defecate, and no female should be forced to risk rape just to take care of a bodily function. World Toilet Day 2014 follows a theme of dignity and equality, in the hopes of inspiring action to finally put an end to the practice of open defecation. Even in areas where there are limited toilet facilities available there may be obstacles for special populations, preventing those in these populations from utilizing the facilities that do exist. Disabled individuals and those who are elderly may require special accommodations which are not available in many more remote areas and smaller villages in a number of poverty stricken countries.
Everyone should take the time to commemorate World Toilet Day by speaking out or taking action, ensuring that everyone on earth has access to toilets, basic hygiene, and privacy. Developing sanitation facilities needs to be a top priority in areas where these facilities are not currently available, and the global community needs to speak up and let their voices be heard. Every person should be able to go in privacy, without any risk of harm or death just because they need to relieve themselves. World Toilet day is also a day to be thankful if you live in a country where toilets and modern sanitation are common, and to make an effort to help those who do not have the same bathroom experience.
- Nearly 1.5 million children under the age of five die every year from diarrhea globally.
- Diarrhoeal diseases are the second most common cause of death of young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined, and resulting in 1 death every 20 seconds.
- 40% of people worldwide don’t have a safe and healthy way to defecate.
- Toilets have added 20 years to the human lifespan over the past 2 centuries.
- Washing hands could save 3.5 million kids lives every year.
Read more facts here.