November 15, 2017
Just a month after Global Handwashing Day, the Global Handwashing Partnership is celebrating World Toilet Day on November 19th. World Toilet Day drives action to solve the global sanitation crisis. Like handwashing, sanitation is a vital way to prevent diseases and protect health. For example, both can prevent diarrhea, which remains a leading cause of death and long-term suffering for children around the world.
Proper handwashing and safe sanitation are essential for good health and development, but access to both is far behind where is needs to be. In some countries, fewer than 10% of people have access to basic handwashing facilities. Globally, 4.5 billion people lack a safe toilet with proper waste treatment. This affects health and dignity, and costs lives. View this National Geographic picture story for a moving look at how open defecation affects communities around the world.
This year, the theme for World Toilet Day is wastewater and waste treatment. If waste is not properly stored and treated, it can easily transmit many of the same diseases we aim to prevent through handwashing. Watch WSSCC’s Freddy the Fly video for a look at how waste can transmit disease, even without direct contact. Wastewater also provides some exciting opportunities for re-use, sustainability, and business. Read more about the Sanitation Economy on the Toilet Board Coalition’s website.
Using a safe toilet, then washing hands with soap, is a practice that should be accessible to all. World Toilet Day is an important time for us all to that neither handwashing nor sanitation alone will be able to achieve maximum impact, and that sector silos don’t respond to real-life challenges. Including handwashing with soap in Community-Led Total Sanitation protocols is one example of efforts to ensure communities have access to both sanitation and hygiene.
The Global Handwashing Partnership encourages all Global Handwashing Day celebrants to engage in World Toilet Day. Here are some of the ways you can get involved:
Engage online: Join the GHP, WSSCC, and others for a Twitter chat on November 20th at 9 am ET. Follow #ToiletTalk and @WSSCouncil to join the discussion.
Take action: Organize an event, advocacy day, or project in your community. Visit the World Toilet Day events map to get ideas or join an event near you. You can also use the ideas from our Beyond October 15 infographic to continue your work from Global Handwashing Day.
Learn more: Read the Stop the Cycle of Diarrheal Disease: A State of the Field Report from DefeatDD to learn about the still-urgent issue of diarrheal diseases, priorities for defeating these diseases, and ways you can be part of the movement to prevent diarrheal deaths. Visit the World Toilet Day website for more information, ideas, and resources.
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© 2017 The Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP).