Things you need to know Vol 25, No. 11 - November 2021

4 things you need to know about your toilet

Who really cares about toilets? 3.6 billion people do. Because they don’t have one. Today, nearly half the world’s population live without access to this important sanitary facility that many of us take for granted. As we are gearing up for World Toilet Day on 19 November, here are four things you should know about your toilet.

1. We should all care more about toilets

If you have one, thank it. Life without a toilet is dirty, dangerous and undignified. Globally, at least two billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces. Every day, over 700 children under the age of five die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene.

2. Public health depends on toilets

When some people in a community do not have safe toilets, everyone’s health is threatened. Poor sanitation contaminates drinking-water sources, rivers, beaches and food crops, spreading deadly diseases among the wider population.

3. Toilets drive improvements in gender equality and in society as a whole

Toilets protect women and girls’ dignity, safety and health, especially during menstruation and pregnancy. For every $1 invested in basic sanitation up to $5 is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity, and jobs are created along the entire service chain.

4. There will be no sustainable future without toilets

Governments must work four times faster and ensure toilets for all by 2030, in line with the promise of Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.’

We urgently need massive investment and innovation to quadruple progress along the ‘sanitation chain’, from toilets to the transport, collection and treatment of human waste. The public and private sectors must work with unserved communities to create sustainable sanitation systems that work for them.

Learn more and find ways to show you care:

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