What is World Toilet Day?
World Toilet Day is a day created by the United Nations General Assembly to bring worldwide sanitation issues to light. Held on November 19th each year, this day focuses on raising awareness and inspiring action to help tackle the issue that 2.4 billion people worldwide face who lack access to basic sanitation facilities such as toilets and latrines.
For these people, basic sanitation is often non-existent and without a toilet or latrine, open defecation is a common practice. People are forced to relieve themselves outside in fields, bushes, open water, forests or in other open spaces. This practice can lead to severe consequences, especially for women and girls that practice open defecation under the cover of darkness as they are often vulnerable to physical attacks. The countries where open defecation is widely practiced are the same countries with the highest rates of child deaths and malnutrition. Access to a functioning toilet not only has a positive impact on public health, human dignity and personal safety, but also helps stop spread of many deadly diseases.
Did you know?
- 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation
- 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet
- 892 million people practice open defecation
- 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem untreated
- 1,600 children die per day from diseases that are preventable through clean toilets, safe water and good hygiene
What are we doing?
On Nov 19th, Hamilton Water is hosting a new World Toilet Day event for local grade 7 students, which will focus on educating them about the importance of proper sanitation through a series of activities and challenges. The event provides a direct link to the City of Hamilton’s own efforts to improve wastewater quality and our harbour through the Hamilton’s Clean Harbour Program as well it’s an opportunity for youth to raise funds to support for “Water for People – Canada”, a charity dedicated to water and sanitation initiatives globally.
What can you do?
- Promote good practices. Chances are, if you are reading this, you have access to a safe water source and toilets to use freely, so you can support this global initiative right in your own City by protecting our valuable infrastructure. Ensure that only pee, poo and paper are flushed down the toilet and educate others on how chemicals and anything else that is flushed down the toilet can hurt the environment.
- Talk about it. Open up the conversation and break taboos, let’s talk about toilets! This is something that many Canadians take for granted. Create awareness about this global crisis and inspire others to take action towards making toilets accessible for everyone.
- Donate. With your financial contribution, you can help work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6 that aims to provide adequate sanitation for all and cut the amount of untreated wastewater in half by 2030. Graciously donate to reputable charities that are working towards sanitation as global development priority. According to the UN, the provision of proper sanitation, along with safe water and good hygiene could prevent up to 842,000 deaths each year.
If you have any questions or wish to support our World Toilet Day efforts, please contact
Project Manager – Outreach & Education
Hamilton Water, Customer Service & Community Outreach
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