Tomorrow 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 “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change” in recognition of the fact flood, drought, and rising sea levels threaten sanitation systems – from toilets to septic tanks to treatment plants. For instance, floodwater can damage toilets and spread human waste into water supplies, food crops and people’s homes. These incidents, which are becoming more frequent as climate change worsens, cause public health emergencies and degrade the environment.
World Toilet Day also brings attention to the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. Instead they 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.
For more information on this annual event occurring on November 19, visit the World Toilet Day website.