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World Toilet Day: Potty Talk is No Laughing Matter

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World Toilet Day, observed annually on Nov. 19th,  breaks the taboo about toilets while drawing attention to the overwhelming need for sanitation and clean water.

 

 

For people living in most countries, a backed-up toilet means one or more days of considerable inconvenience. Consider, by contrast, that approximately one-third of the world’s population has no access to a toilet at all. Founded in 2001, World Toilet Day is observed annually on November 19 and aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to this global sanitation challenge.

 

Partnering organizations spearheading the international observance day include the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, the World Toilet Organisation, and Domestos. World Toilet Day organizers have expressed the hope to “raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people face.” The organizers add that toilets are “vital to life.”  This year the charity Water.org has launched its own Toilet Day strike/campaign featuring Matt Damon to highlight what they consider to be a  "clean water and sanitation crisis."

 

Most people without a safe, clean and private toilet live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. People in these regions, and especially children, are particularly susceptible to diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, which kill more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Tragically one life is lost to diarrhoeal illnesses every 20 seconds.

 

What You Can Do to Celebrate World Toilet Day: 

 

  • Visit the World Toilet Day website to get involved in the campaign and see how you can help. Organizers have launched a petition and have also planned numerous opportunities for advocacy. To date, more than 200,000 people are involved.
  • Go to StrikeWithMe.org to join Matt Damon's toilet strike for clean water and sanitation (see video below for more details)

 

Matt Damon tells about the invention that has saved more lives than any other on the planet in this awesome video from Water.org: