“By working together – and by having an open and frank discussion on the importance of toilets and sanitation – we can improve the health and well-being of one-third of the human family”-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, On World Toilet Day
While a vast majority of the world’s population has access to mobile phones, one third of humanity (2.5 billion people) do not have access to proper sanitation, including toilets or latrines, with dramatic consequences on human health, dignity and security, the environment, and social and economic development.
To address these issues, the “Sanitation for All” Resolution (A/RES/67/291) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2013, designating 19 November as World Toilet Day.
The lack of improved sanitation largely contributes to the fact that almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrhoeal diseases. It also impacts vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities and women, who are more exposed to sexual violence. Lack of private toilets in schools is a major reason why girls do not continue their education once they enter puberty.
Poor sanitation and water supply also result in economic losses estimated at $260 billion annually in developing countries.
World Toilet Day aims to change both behaviour and policy on issues ranging from enhancing water management to ending open-air defecation (which 1.1 billion people practice worldwide).
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