The global community Monday commemorated the 2018 World Toilet Day (WTD) coordinated by UN-Water under the theme: “when nature calls,” focused on drawing global attention to sanitation crisis and the need to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet and that no-one practices open defecation by 2030.
World Toilet Day (WTD) is observed annually on 19 November by countries of the world to inform, engage and inspire nations, governments, and individuals to take action towards achieving the UN`s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – which calls for safe sanitation and clean water for all by 2030.
Today, some 4.5 billion people – around 60% of the world population – lack access to toilet or latrine with 892 million people practicing open defecation, according to reports from World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “This means human faeces, on a massive scale, are not being captured or treated – contaminating the water and soil that sustain human life,” said a public statement about WTD 2018.
Exposure to human faeces on this scale is said to have a devastating impact upon public health, nutrition, living and working conditions, education, as well as economic productivity across the world.
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This year`s campaign themed: “when nature calls,” is about ‘nature-based solutions’ to our sanitation needs, hence we must build toilets and sanitation facilities that work in harmony with the ecosystem towards achieving a smart, greener and sustainable planet.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 23% of people don’t have access to toilets while 31% use toilets that are unconnected to a safe sanitation system, which highlight the fact that safe sanitation is still a luxury.
Among others, SDG 6’s targets include ensuring everyone; everywhere has access to toilets by 2030. Failure to achieve this goal risks the 2030 global agenda for sustainable development.