November 19 marks World Toilet Day and is designed to bring attention to the lack thereof in many parts of the world.
Worldwide, there are 4.2 billion people that live without safely managed sanitation services, while 673 million still practise open defecation and three billion lack basic handwashing facilities. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432,000 deaths every year, reports the World Health Organization.
World Toilet Day was established in 2001 by the World Toilet Organization and was made an official UN day in 2013. “Safely managed sanitation” means that a person uses hygienic toilet facilities that are not shared with other households and where excrement is separated from human contact and safely disposed of.
Social media campaigns have been created by industry-related manufacturers to bring awareness to the importance of proper sanitation services. Lixil, Mississauga, Ont. created #whereisthetoilet.
The sanitation problem is so significant that the UN made achieving equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030 one of its Sustainable Development Goals. Lixil has committed to improving the livelihood of 100 million people by 2025.
“One out of every three people in the world today live without access to proper sanitation.” said Troy Benavidez, vice president of public affairs of Lixil Americas, “With our SATO products, we have been able to assist 15 million people around the world to provide them access to basic sanitation.”