Tomorrow, November 19th, is World Toilet Day.
Do you give a shit? You should. Because 1 in 3 people worldwide (that’s 2.4 billion) do not have access to a safe, private toilet.
The theme of World Toilet Day 2016 is “toilets and jobs,” focusing on how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact people’s livelihoods.
What would you do if you couldn’t go to the bathroom at work? As the video below imagines, it wouldn’t be pretty.
Believe it or not, toilets play an important role in creating a strong economy while also protecting people’s safety and dignity, particularly women and girls, and improving overall health. A couple of facts:
- Disease transmission at work, mostly caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices, causes 17% of all workplace deaths (International Labour Organization (ILO) 2003).
- Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5% of GDP (Hutton 2012).
Download the World Toilet Day fact sheet from the UN
So what can you do to celebrate World Toilet Day? For one thing, you can create and share your own poop. Mr. Toilet explains how:
My kids are a big fan of this app.
If you follow me, you know I’m a big fan of talking about clean water and sanitation and of WaterAid America’s work in particular. I even had the chance to see their work on the ground in Nicaragua in 2014. If you feel so compelled, visit their website and make a donation. Just $30 will pay for a pit latrine for a family.
If you’re in the mood for some more potty talk, you can peruse some of my articles on clean water and sanitation.