The World Toilet Day is observed annually on the 19th of November. This initiative aims to raise awareness on the plight of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation, the lack of which undermines public health, human dignity, personal safety, and economic development. It is a day to inform, engage and inspire people to take action so we can tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The effects of climate change, such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels are threatening sanitation systems – from toilets to septic tanks to treatment plants. Floodwater can damage toilets and contaminate drinking water, which spreads human waste into our communities and food crops, causing deadly and chronic diseases. These incidents, which are becoming more frequent as climate change worsens, cause public health emergencies, and degrade the environment.
Globally, an average of 80 percent of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Sustainable sanitation systems make productive use of waste to safely boost agriculture, as well as reduce and capture CO2 emissions for a greener energy source. Everyone has a right to safe, clean sanitation, and drinking water. It is critical that we all have access to sustainable sanitation, clean water, and hygiene facilities so we can maintain healthy communities and help stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Three United Nations stamps were created for World Toilet Day 2021. Each stamp depicts one of the most important ways toilets, water and hygiene add value to our lives.
Safely managed toilets and water services dispose of our waste, helping prevent food crops from being contaminated and ensuring sustainable use of water in agriculture.
Good hygiene practices are possible only with reliable and affordable water and sanitation services, which help to protect people from preventable diseases such as COVID-19 and cholera.
Toilets at home, school and workplaces particularly benefit women and girls, helping them play their full role in society, especially during menstruation and pregnancy.