World Toilet Day 2022: History, Significance and Theme

World Toilet Day is annually observed on 19th November worldwide. This day aims to inspire to tackle sanitation crisis of our world which is a very serious issue in front of our world. 

It is a United Nations event. This day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.  

Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. In particular, target 6.2 is to “End open defecation and provide access to sanitation and hygiene”. So ensuring it is the main goal of the day. 

Event World Toilet Day
Date November 19, 2022
Day Saturday
Significance The day highlights the importance of toilet and hygiene
Observed by World wide

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World Toilet Day History: 

The fourth millennium BCE would witness the invention of clay pipes, sewers, and toilets, in Mesopotamia, with the city of Uruk today exhibiting the earliest known internal pit toilet, from 3200 BCE. The Neolithic village of Skara Brae contains examples, 3000 BCE, of internal small rooms over a communal drain, rather than pit. The Indus Valley civilisation in northwestern India and Pakistan was home to the world’s first known urban sanitation systems. In Mohenjo-Daro (c. 2800 BC), toilets were built into the outer walls of homes. These toilets had vertical chutes, via which waste was disposed of into cesspits or street drains.  

Although a precursor to the flush toilet system which is widely used nowadays was designed in 1596 by John Harington,[citation needed] such systems did not come into widespread use until the late nineteenth century. With the onset of the industrial revolution and related advances in technology, the flush toilet began to emerge into its modern form. A crucial advance in plumbing, was the S-trap, invented by the Scottish mechanic Alexander Cummings in 1775, and still in use today. However despite all of the development in our world still there are a large number of people who lacks proper sanitation and still practices open defecation. 

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On 19 November 2001, the NGO World Toilet Organization (WTO) was founded by Jack Sim, a philanthropist from Singapore. He subsequently declared 19 November as World Toilet Day. The name “World Toilet Day” and not “World Sanitation Day” was chosen for ease of public messaging, even though toilets are only the first stage of sanitation systems. 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. Their efforts to raise attention for the sanitation crisis were bolstered in 2010 when the human right to water and sanitation was officially declared a human right by the UN.  

In 2013, a joint initiative between the Government of Singapore and the World Toilet Organization led to Singapore’s first ever UN resolution, named “Sanitation for All”. The resolution calls for collective action to end the world’s sanitation crisis. World Toilet Day was declared an official UN day in 2013. That resolution was adopted by 122 countries at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. During World Toilet Day 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon advocated action to renew efforts to provide access to satisfactory sanitation for all, reminding everyone of the “Call to Action on Sanitation” which was launched in 2013 and aimed to end open defecation by 2025. 

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World Toilet Day Significance: 

World Toilet Day exists to inform, engage and inspire people to take action toward achieving the goal of having a world free of open defecation and to make sure that proper sanitation facilities are available to everyone! Toilets are important because access to a safe functioning toilet has a positive impact on public health, human dignity, and personal safety, especially for females. Sanitation systems that do not safely treat excreta (feces) allow the spread of disease. Serious soil-transmitted diseases and waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery and schistosomiasis can result. 

Today, 3.6 billion people in our world are still living with poor quality toilets that ruin their health and pollute their environment. Every day, more than 800 children die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene. Groundwater is by far the most abundant source of freshwater globally, supporting drinking water and sanitation systems, food production, industrial processes and the healthy functioning of ecosystems. In many areas, aquifers are close to the surface, making them particularly vulnerable to human-made pollution from the soil and surface water above. Hence this issue needs to be taken seriously. 

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Safe sanitation protects groundwater. Toilets that are properly sited and connected to safely managed sanitation systems, collect, treat and dispose of human waste, and help prevent human waste from spreading into groundwater. Sanitation must withstand climate change. Toilets and sanitation systems must be built or adapted to cope with extreme weather events, so that services always function and groundwater is protected. Sanitation action is urgent. We are seriously off track to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. With only eight years left, the world needs to work four times faster to meet the promise of the UN SDG for 2030. 

World Toilet Day is all about shedding light on a subject that is often deemed inappropriate to talk about. And while we don’t suggest documenting the when, why, and how of your bathroom habits on social media, it can definitely be a day to open the conversation about sanitation issues in the world. As the UN puts it, there still exists a taboo around talking about toilets, and it is the time to break it as many people in our world still lacks proper sanitation which needs to be addressed and solved and it can be be only possible when we are able to discuss it openly and that’s what Worod Toilet Day is all about!  

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World Toilet Day Theme: 

The theme of World Toilet Day 2022 is “Sanitation and Groundwater” and it is being celebrated with the campaign of ‘Making the invisible visible’. 

The central message of World Toilet Day 2022 is that safely managed sanitation protects groundwater from human waste pollution. Currently, the world is seriously off track to meet the promise of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2: to ensure safe toilets for all by 2030. The campaign urges governments to work on average four times faster to ensure SDG 6.2 is achieved on time. Policymakers are also called upon to fully recognize the connection between sanitation and groundwater in their plans to safeguard this vital water resource. 

The 2022 campaign ‘Making the invisible visible’ explores how inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, polluting underground water resources. However, this problem seems to be invisible. Invisible because it happens underground. Invisible because it happens in the poorest and most marginalized communities. 

Most Searched FAQs on World Toilet Day: 

1. When is World Toilet Day observed? 

World Toilet Day is annually observed on 19th November. 

2. What is the purpose of World Toilet Day? 

The purpose of World Toilet Day is to raise awareness about how many people in the world still lack basic sanitary facilities. 

3. What is the theme of World Toilet Day 2022? 

The theme of World Toilet Day 2022 is “Sanitation and Groundwater” and it is being celebrated with the campaign of ‘Making the invisible visible’. 

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