Public health, dignity and also safety are deeply associated with the access to sanitation, especially toilets. The entrenched practice of open defecation which means lack of sanitation and lack of hygiene causes the spread of diseases such as fatal diarrhoea, intestinal worm infections, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, childhood stunting etc. To address the global sanitation crisis, the United Nations General Assembly's officially designated World Toilet Day (WTD) is observed on every November 19. The world toilet day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.
World Toilet Day 2017's Theme
World toilet day 2017 comes up with the stories about 'human waste' and what we need to do with it in keeping with the theme of 'Wastewater'. In 2015, to transform our world, the UN aimed with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with 17 goals, of which the SDG-6 ensures access to water by halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reuse for all by 2030.
Here are a few facts about sanitation that might make you sit up and take notice.
Why Toilets? Or World Toilet Day Facts
Th toilet at your home is more important than what you think. Take a look at some quick facts about toilets or the sanitation crisis. According to United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF),
Around 8,42,000 deaths each year happen due to the diseases that are spread by open defecation and untreated water. All these can be prevented with bettering sanitation measures.
Preventable and treatable disease 'diarrhoea' is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old.
Just because of the lack of clean and safe toilets, many school children miss out on education. In this case, clean and safe toilets or arranging toilets for them make a change in education with the increased attendance rates.
Around 60% of the global population (around 4.5 billion people) either have no toilet at home or one that doesn't safely manage excreta.
Globally, More people own a mobile phone than a toilet.
Sadly, around 862 million people worldwide still practice open defecation.
Around 1.8 billion people use a drinking-water source contaminated with faeces.
Around 80% of the wastewater flows into the ecosystem without any treatment.
Only around 39% of the global population (around 2.9 billion) use a safely-managed sanitation service.
Women in India, China, Brazil and many other countries are forced to walk to dark, particularly at night, and dangerous locations for private areas to defecate outside. In these cases, thy are likely vulnerable to attacks.
Now is the Time to Act
As we said, for billions of global people, sanitation systems are either non-existent or ineffective. Then, where does our poo go? Absence of toilets or lack of proper sanitation and emptying raw sewage into the environment make poo enter into the environment, contaminate water resources and spread killer diseases. So disposing of our bodily waste safely can only lead us to achieve SDG-6 goal easily. For that to be achieved, every one's poo has to take a 4-step journey given below.
The Poo Journey
Containment - Poo must be initially separated from human contact. For that, use hygienic toilets and ensure that your poo is stored in a sealed tank.
Transport - Take the help of latrine emptying services to move the poo to the treatment stage.
Treatment - Ensure processed poo is returned to the environment safely.
Disposal or reuse - Use this safely treated poo in energy generation or as a fertiliser.