World Toilet Day 2021 Highlights Global Toilet Crisis

Today we celebrate World Toilet Day, a reminder to take action to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030. World Toilet Day is an official United Nations international observance day occurring annually on November 19. This year’s theme is “Valuing Toilets” highlighting the importance of sanitation and hygiene in driving improvements in public health, gender equality, education, economic development, and environmental protection.

World Toilet Day also brings attention to the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. These 3.6 billion people often use unreliable, inadequate toilets or defecate in the open — in the streets, in the bushes and by rivers and other water sources — contaminating the water and soil that sustain human life. The crisis is most severe in parts of Africa and Asia facing extreme poverty and and a population boom.

Untreated human waste gets out into the environment and spreads deadly and chronic diseases. Sustainable sanitation systems, combined with the facilities and knowledge to practice good hygiene, are a strong defense against COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks.

World Toilet Day reminds us all that governments must work four times faster to ensure toilets for all by 2030. Every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhea linked to unsafe water, sanitation, and poor hygiene.

For more information on this annual event occurring on November 19, visit the World Toilet Day website.