What is World Toilet Day?
World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.5 billion people live without a household toilet that safely disposes of their waste.
The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to a safely-managed household toilet by 2030. This makes sanitation central to eradicating extreme poverty.
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.
Photo © UNIC Ghana
Here’s a selection of great stories all about human waste and what we need to do with it!
- A guide to the circular economy1 August 2017The World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) earlier this year launched a guide to help businesses be smarter with water through circular solutions. The Practitioner Guide offers insight into over 70 strategies, 40 examples, 90 resources and numerous tools that companies can use to implement the circular economy. It’s a living catalogue that will be continuously...
- Wastewater at the workplace1 August 2017The link between health and access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is well documented. Since workplaces represent a major focus in the life of workers and employers, access to WASH in workplaces can contribute greatly to both occupational and general health. In an effort to advance towards both Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number...
- Flush and forget?31 July 2017When you flush your toilet, it’s tempting to think that your poo simply disappears. But it doesn’t. In fact, it will probably re-enter your world very quickly in ways you hadn’t expected. This film from Vice looks into the state-of-the-art industry in New York turning waste into wealth. Sludge becomes “biosolids” for use in agriculture and landscaping – growing...
- Popsicles made from polluted water31 July 2017Globally, over 80% of our wastewater flows back to nature untreated. Three design students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts, Hong Yi-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Zheng Yu-di created these popsicles as a graduation project “100% Polluted Water Popsicles“, to raise awareness about pollution in water systems. The water comes from 100 different polluted...
- The untapped resource31 July 2017“Wastewater is a valuable resource in a world where water is finite and demand is growing,” says Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organization. “Everyone can do their bit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase safe water reuse by 2030....
- A challenge we can solve31 July 2017Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of UN-Water. “Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera,...
- What are safely managed services?31 July 201729% of the global population, or 2.1 billion people, lack safely managed drinking water services and 61% of the global population (4.5 billion people) lack safely managed sanitation. These are the latest figures from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene‘s first report of the SDG period, Progress on drinking water,...
- Affordability of water and sanitation for all30 July 2017Access to affordable water and sanitation services is crucial for the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation. Where water or sanitation services are available but not affordable, people will either not be able to use sufficient amounts of water and adequately maintain latrines, or will turn to cheaper, unsafe sources or practices,...
- Electron beam technology29 July 2017Textile dyeing accounts for a fifth of all industrial wastewater pollution generated worldwide. Although several industrialized countries have used radiation to treat some of the effluent from textile dyeing plants, the relocation of much of the industry to developing countries in Asia in recent years has meant that a lot of the wastewater goes untreated....
- UN Secretary-General visits Nairobi’s slum29 July 2017On his first visit to Kenya as Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres visited a community space in Mathare, home to approximately 800,000 people and Nairobi’s oldest slum, to meet members of the community benefiting from UN programmes and partnerships. Through the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme, UN-Habitat is working with city and national authorities to...
- Clean water in overcrowded cities28 July 2017Clean water is an issue in many overcrowded cities, where contamination by bacteria can lead to high rates of diarrhoea, harming children’s growth and health. In Dhaka, the challenge was finding a water treatment technology that could work without electricity and operate in Dhaka’s extreme weather. Learn more about the World Bank project in the slums...
- Seven sanitation myths28 July 2017There is no single solution to urban sanitation challenges. We must develop locally relevant and innovative solutions along the sanitation service chain that put customers first and focus as much on service management as on technology. In this blog, the World Bank debunk some of the myths that often prevent sector experts and city managers...
- SDGs benefit from wastewater management27 July 2017Sustainable sanitation (including safe and equitable access) and wastewater management can contribute to meeting a wide variety of targets in the 2030 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Learn more about which SDGs targets that could benefit from better wastewater management here. Photo credit: AIO SIDS IWRM Project via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA...
- Wastewater and health26 July 2017Hygienic sanitation facilities are crucial for public health. Despite big improvements , inequalities between and within countries and regions persist, and globally 4.5 billion people still lack safely managed sanitation. Even more, especially children, get sick by coming into contact with human excreta within their communities through open defecation, flooded latrines and untreated wastewater. Each year,...
Wherever you are on World Toilet Day, make it about toilets.
- Where you go matters
892 million people worldwide still practice open defecation. Let’s end open defecation. Print and share the poster in your area.
- Get together for toilets
Upload your event to the world map and be part of the global community taking action.
- Where does your poo go?
Everybody poos, but not everybody knows what happens to that poo.
Learn more about the distinctly unglamorous yet essential 4-step journey we need the world’s waste to take.
- Push the issue
Use your office noticeboard and your online profiles – download all the free World Toilet Day posters, logos and memes to help get the message out.
- Clean India Mission
The Government of India is aiming to eliminate open defecation by 2019 through the construction of toilets across the nation. Learn more about this incredible movement.
- Get flushed with creativity
Express your love and admiration for toilets through art and show the world that sanitation is your muse.
- Raise a GLAAS!
Enjoy the new findings from WHO/UN-Water in the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS).
- Learn about toilets
Change starts with knowledge. Read some of the great content we’ve gathered on toilets, human waste and what we need to do with it!
- ‘Our Hands, Our Future!’
Handwashing protects our own health, but also allows us to build our own futures, as well as those of our communities, and the world. Join Global Handwashing Day 2017.
- Run for the toilet
Join the Global Urgent Run for sanitation organized by the World Toilet Organization.
- Knowledge is power
Open your eyes to the latest facts and figures on the state of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene around the world.
- Don’t feed Freddy the fly!
Enjoy this animation and poem, all about a community’s journey to stop open defecation in their village.