In order to shed light on the importance of World Toilet Day, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs interviewed Kate Medlicott, Technical Officer at Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health at the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO being one of the coordinators for this year’s World Toilet Day campaign, on behalf of UN-Water.

In her interview, Kate expands on the seriousness of the subject of World Toilet Day, even though it may sound humorous to some. The reality is that 4.5 billion people still lack safe toilets or sanitation services that take away the waste and safely treat it. This in turn leads to waste contaminating our global communities, waterways and even our food, making people seriously ill and, in worst case, to death.

She also addresses the stigma surrounding the subject of human waste, and the urgent need to break these taboos and prioritize sanitation as a global development issue. Awareness and openly talking about poo and pee allows for involving and informing people she explains, and promotes a greater understanding of the issue, which can hopefully then lead to positive change.

Read the full interview here.

Photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection / CC BY-NC-ND