Posts tagged ‘World Toilet Day’

November 26, 2014

Uganda: Residents to Get Loans for Constructing Latrines

Cliff Abenaitwe
November 24, 2014

Health officials in Uganda’s southwestern district of Mbarara have announced plans to partner with local commercial banks to extend financial services to families in the district for constructing improved pit latrines.

Masereka Umaru, the district health inspector tells our correspondent there that this partnership with commercial banks like Post Bank and Opportunity Bank is aimed at increasing safe toilet coverage in the district which currently stands at only 53 percent of the homesteads there. This means that the remaining 47 percent practice open defecation.

A pit latrine in Bushenyi district, Uganda

A pit latrine in Bushenyi district, Uganda

Masereka explains that some poor families in the rural parts of the district find it hard to construct pit latrines because the procedure needs a lot of funds to hire people to construct pits and buy various materials including pipes.

He is optimistic that this arrangement that will see people get loans to re-pay in three years will enable homes to have safe latrines that could help in the fight against poor sanitation related diseases.

This comes a week after the commemoration of the World Toilet Day, a day set aside to highlight the dilemma of 2.5 billion people without access to a clean, private toilet globally.

November 19, 2014

Malawi: UNICEF Calls for More Toilets

George Mhango
November 19, 2014

UNICEF officials in Malawi and UN headquarters have warned that slow progress on sanitation and the entrenched practice of open defecation among millions around the world continue to put children and their communities at risk as the world celebrates World Toilet Day.

Meanwhile, UNICEF in collaboration with other stakeholders such as DFID and Concern Universal are working with communities, sensitizing them about the importance of hygiene and dangers of open defecation.

As a result, 440 villages in the central region districts of Dowa and Kasungu have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). At the national level, the percentage of villages that have been declared as open defecation free has increased from 3 percent in 2011 to 19 percent in 2014.

Poor Sanitation and hygiene remains one of dangerous threats to good health in most Africa’s towns

Poor Sanitation and hygiene remains one of dangerous threats to good health in most Africa’s towns

To mark this year’s World Toilet Day, UNICEF is supporting the celebration of the 440 ODF villages in Kasungu and Dowa districts. The event which is a collaboration between Concern Universal, UNICEF, DFID and Dowa’s District Coordination Team (DCT) will showcase the ability of local communities to achieve universal access to safe and private toilets.

Eighty-two per cent of the 1 billion people practicing open defecation live in just 10 countries: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Niger, Nepal, China, and Mozambique. The numbers of people practicing open defecation are still rising in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, though they have declined in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In Nigeria, numbers of open defecators increased from 23 million in 1990 to 39 million in 2012.

Globally, some 1.9 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990. However, progress has not kept up with population growth and the Millennium Development Goal target on sanitation is unlikely to be reached by 2015 at current rates of progress.

The inter-governmental Open Working Group on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals have recommended that the new goals include a target of achieving adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation by 2030.

Reports say some 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate toilets and among them 1 billion defecate in the open – in fields, bushes, or bodies of water – putting them, and especially children, in danger of deadly faecal-oral diseases like diarrhoea.

A makeshift bathroom. Few people in developing countries are familiar with the dangerous health risks their families face due to their poor sanitary facilities.

A makeshift bathroom. Few people in developing countries are familiar with the dangerous health risks their families face due to their poor sanitary facilities.

Statistics show that in 2013 more than 340,000 children under five died from diarrhoeal diseases due to a lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene – an average of almost 1,000 deaths per day.

“Lack of sanitation is a reliable marker of how the poorest in a country are faring,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes. “But although it is the poor who overwhelmingly do not have toilets, everyone suffers from the contaminating effects of open defecation, so everyone should have a sense of urgency about addressing this problem.”

“The challenge of open defecation is one of both equity and dignity, and very often of safety as well, particularly for women and girls,” Wijesekera noted. “They have to wait until dark to relieve themselves, putting them in danger of attack, and worse, as we have seen recently.”

In May, the hanging of two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh who had gone out after dark to defecate caused international shock and dismay, and highlighted the security issues involved in open defecation.

UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Total Sanitation addresses the problem at the local level by involving communities in devising solutions, and has led to some 26 million people across more than 50 countries abandoning the practice of open defecation since 2008.

November 19, 2012

Lack of Toilet Exposes African Women and Girls to Shame, Fear and Violence

WaterSan Perspective Reporter and
November 19th, 2012

Seven in ten women in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a safe toilet, threatening their health and exposing them to shame, fear and even violence.

This means that on World Toilet Day, 19 November, 297 million African women and girls lack safe and adequate sanitation and of those 107 million don’t have a toilet at all.

A survey commissioned by WaterAid of women living across five slums in Lagos, Nigeria, showed that one in five had first or second hand experience of verbal harassment and intimidation, or had been threatened or physically assaulted in the last year when going to the toilet. Anecdotal evidence from other African countries suggests that the scale of the problem may be much larger than this.

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said:
“When women don’t have a safe, secure and private place to go to the toilet they are exposed and put in a vulnerable position and when they relieve themselves in the open they risk harassment. Women are reluctant to talk about it or complain, but the world cannot continue to ignore this.”

“Adequate sanitation, coupled with access to clean, safe water to drink, transforms lives, improving health, safety and productivity. Governments are urged to take action and invest in access to sanitation and water.”

Other studies from Uganda and Kenya show that such experiences of fear, indignity and violence appear to be common in Africa wherever women lack access to safe and adequate sanitation.

Sandimhia Renato, 18, from Mozambique walks 15 minutes every day to defecate in the bush.
“Sometimes when I go I feel ashamed and go back without defecating. Sometimes I wait until dark to go there so no one can see me. I will be very concerned about Diani, my daughter, going to the bush because it is so far from here. At night it is very dangerous. People get killed. A woman and a boy were killed with knives. One woman I know of has been raped.”

Security came out as a recurring concern in the poll of women from slums in Lagos, with 67% of respondents saying they feel unsafe even using shared or community toilets in a public place.

Poor hygiene has serious implications on health. Every day, over 1,000 African mothers lose a child to diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of adequate sanitation and clean water.

Lack of decent sanitation also affects productivity and livelihoods. Women and girls living in sub-Saharan Africa without toilet facilities spend 20 billion hours each year finding a place to go in the open, according to figures released in a WaterAid briefing.

WaterAid logo

Barbara Frost continued:“This World Toilet Day, WaterAid is joining the call of hundreds of organisations around the world, for governments to keep the promises they have made to get adequate sanitation and safe water to the world’s poorest people”.

WaterAid has also released a new film showing what it would be like for women in the western world if they also lacked sanitation. The film can be viewed online at

November 19, 2012

Countries Mark World Toilet Day

World Toilet Organization and
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
November 19th, 2012

Today is World Toilet Day, a day set aside not simply as a celebration, but as a way to highlight the plight of 2.5 billion people without access to a clean, private toilet.

“I give a shit, do you?” is theme of global awareness campaign.

World Toilet Day logo

19 November 2012 Geneva/Singapore: “I give a shit, do you?” is the plea of the 2012 global World Toilet Day campaign put together by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO).

Observed annually on 19 November, World Toilet Day (WTD) aims to break the taboo around toilets and to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper dignified sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people continue to face.

“World Toilet Day aims to draw attention about the major impact the humble toilet has on our lives.

Access to a clean, private toilet equals health, dignity, freedom and safety” says Chris Williams, Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, a Geneva-based, United Nations hosted organization that is championing the issue. “In addition, sanitation can also be looked at as a motor for economic development. Studies show that each dollar invested in sanitation generates five dollars in return. For countries, and individuals, sanitation is one of the best investments to be made” he concludes.

The sanitation crisis is not only an affront to dignity. Hundreds of tons of feces and urine plunge each day directly into rivers, creating a human and environmental health hazard. Every twenty seconds a child dies from sanitation-related illness.

“What we don’t discuss, we can’t improve” says Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization. “Over the last 12 years World Toilet Day has become an amazing groundswell movement for everyone to support better toilets and sanitation conditions around the world. World Toilet Day has also become a day of creativity as people all over the globe celebrate it in their own style” he adds.

Designed as an online campaign,, World Toilet Day wants to cast its net far and wide to get the attention of not just those working on these issues already, but also decision makers and the public.

A latrine in rural Uganda. The world remains behind in providing universal access to safe and hygienic toilets.

Campaigners have taken World Toilet Day to new heights – today, get involved with:
• The “World’s Longest Squat” will take place in Bettiah, Bihar, India, the culminating site off the 50-day long Nirmal Bharat Great WASH Yatra. Yatra attendees and staff will squat, like those 1.2 billion people around the world who open defecate every day because they lack a clean, private toilet, and see who can squat the longest with observers cheering on

• Ghana WASH Project and join route marches and dramas by school pupils

• “Big Squats” at the University of Iowa chapter of Engineers Without Borders (USA) and at Queens University Belfast (Northern Ireland)

• SochinAction – Be the Change Exposition in Singapore (Malaysia), the world’s largest social movement by children. They are encouraged to design and innovate on to make positive changes in the world they live in crisis.

• The Public Toilet – Domestos, in collaboration with the artists’ collective Greyworld, is supporting WTD by erecting a digital squatting sculpture in Potters Field, London (UK). You can have your face digitally uploaded on the sculpture by recording a short video or a photo of yourself at

• Toilet Hackers will be celebrating World Toilet Day in New York City (USA) with a benefit reading of An Inconvenient Poop. Written by Shawn Shafner and Croft Vaughn, and directed by Scott Nogi, this reading features a talented cast with multimedia and music. All proceeds will go to Toilet Hackers’ sanitation program in Samburu, Kenya.

• The Keep Your Promises campaign, led by End Water Poverty (EWP), launches a petition calling on governments to keep their promises on sanitation and water

• The DefeatDD campaign invites you to make your sanitation wish and share it on Twitter and Facebook:

October 16, 2012

New Global World Toilet Day campaign is launched – Do you Give A Shit?

Water, Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
WaterSan Perspective
October 16, 2012

Do you Give A Shit? This is the tagline of the new global World Toilet Day campaign put together by the Water, Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the World Toilet Organization (WTO). It’s slightly controversial. Very straight talking and means serious business.

Observed annually on 19 November, World Toilet Day is one of international of action that aims to break the taboo around the toilets – a topic no one likes to talk about – and draw attention to the existing global sanitation challenge.

The campaign’s e-notification

World Toilet Day was created to raise global awareness of the daily for proper dignified sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people continue to face.

Originally promoted by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector (WASH) sector who understood far earlier the benefits of proper sanitation, good hygiene and clean drinking water has on the health and wellbeing, educational attainment, wealth not to mention just basic human dignity. Increasingly it is gaining recognition by the international development community as a key issue, but there is still a long way to go.

World Toilet Day Logo

Designed as an online campaign, World Toilet Day wants to cast its net far and wide to get the attention of not just those working on these issues already, but also decision makers and the public. Through its recently launched website (hyperlink website) it gives those interested in advocating for safer toilets– the perfect opportunity to do so. Through the website you can:
• Share the key campaign messages
• Advocate for better sanitation by hosting an event and register your activities on the interactive World Toilet Day map
• Promote World Toilet Day by using the logo, posters, banners, stickers and brochure
• Tell the world why You Give A Shit!
• Help the word on Facebook and Twitter.
• If you Give A Shit, then World Toilet Day invites you to join in, take action and spread the word.

You can get more information at:

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