World Toilet Day 2021 and its Significance

OV Digital Desk
4 Min Read
World Toilet Day 2021

November 19 was designated as World Toilet Day by the United Nations General Assembly and is coordinated every year by a partnership between UN-Water and governments around the world.  The purpose of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about how many people in the world still lack basic sanitary facilities.

India is always accused of having the largest population who are deprived of the right to sanitation and water. According to the Government of India, the country became open-defecation-free (ODF) in October 2019. … 17 states and 5 UTs already have declared and verified all their districts to be ODF under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).” The claim that India is 100 percent open-defecation-free raises many questions. However, World Health Organization and UNICEF released July 1, 2021, stated that at least 15 percent of the total population in India defecates in the open. One percent of the urban and 22 percent of the rural population practices open defecation in the country.

Also, the offer of proper sanitation brings a remarkable return.  For every $1 invested in basic sanitation, the return is $2.5. And in the case of basic sanitation in rural areas, every $1 return on average more than $5 in saved medical costs and increased productivity.

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The theme of World Toilet Day 2021

According to the latest WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report, progress on sanitation and hygiene is badly off track. For the 3.6 billion people currently without safely managed sanitation, it’s clear there will be no sustainable future without toilets. Governments must work four times faster and ensure toilets for all by 2030. WHO and UNICEF are calling on the government and their partners to urgently transform sanitation for better health, environments, economies, and societies in the State of the world’s sanitation report. The report sets out ways forward under the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework drawing on the latest data, evidence, and case studies.

The theme of World Toilet Day 2021 is “Valuing Toilets”

History of World Toilet Day

Jack Sim in Singapore founded the World Toilet Organization. Jack Sim (born 1957) is the founder of the Restroom Association of Singapore, the World Toilet Organization, the World Toilet Day initiative, and the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) Hub. Formerly from the construction industry, he decided to devote the rest of his life to social work. The WTO began pushing for global recognition for World Toilet Day and, in 2007, the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) began to actively support World Toilet Day, too. The UN declared the right to water and sanitation a human right on 28 July 2010.

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issued the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, asking innovators to design a waste-free commode in order to reconsider how we flush. Singapore had tabled the resolution, Sanitation for All, to raise awareness of the global challenge of sanitation and toilets. World Toilet Day was declared an official UN day in 2013


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