November 6, 2015

It’s that time of the year again when the global community gathers to ‘raise a stink’ in November for sanitation worldwide in the lead up to UN World Toilet Day on 19 November.

World Toilet Organization’s annual event for World Toilet Day, The Urgent Run, is back for the second year, and ready to raise an even bigger stink than before.

The Urgent Run is a global run to call for urgent action to end the sanitation crisis. Communities around the world are coming together for run, or walk events for sanitation this month in the lead up to UN World Toilet Day.

The ‘flagshit’ Singapore event on 7 November marks the kick-off of a global dash for sanitation, with more than 1,000 participants joining in a 5-km Urgent Run for sanitation in Singapore at Singapore’s East Coast Park. The Singapore’s edition of The Urgent Run will feature a sanitation-themed carnival and activities on the side-lines of the fun run to engage Singaporeans with the issue of sanitation, including live performances, an exhibition, a giant blow-up toilet (yes it’s back due to popular demand), competitions, and fancy dress. Participants will also be taking part in a symbolic big squat in solidarity with the nearly 1 billion people who continue to face the indignity of defecating in the open.

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Around 25 global Urgent Runs are expected to be held across the world including in India, Cambodia, Mongolia, Mozambique, USA, Namibia, Cameroon, Vietnam, Bhutan, Burundi, and Kenya.

The format for the events in each location varies, like running to find the nearest toilet, and motorbike parades, competitive marathons, education events for students, health and sports carnivals: people can definitely expect more shit to take place this year. Some of the events this year include:

Bhutan is encouraging the adoption of public toilets across all 20 districts through educational and refurbishment efforts.

In Delhi, volunteer organization, “The Flush Mob” will be organising an Urgent Run, showcased through various art forms including music, dance, photography, puppetry, and other forms of street art. Participants can also look forward to a range of competitions including a Poetry Slam and a Treasure Hunt.

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On top of a marathon, Burundi will be holding folk song and dance performances, and a workshop debate involving parliamentarians, local leaders, journalists, and administrative officials on grassroot levels to share and exchange their opinions on the national measures to improve sanitation in the country.

Senegal will be organizing a full day of events including a parade and walk around the streets in Bignona and Tenghory.

The biggest events are expecting crowds of around 5,000 people. On top of all these amazing runs, World Toilet Organization is also holding an event in New Delhi on World Toilet Day in partnership with Jagran Pehel, Reckitt Benckiser, and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA).

With 2.4 billion people still without access to proper sanitation, these global events  serve as important beacons to raise awareness about the sanitation crisis.

As much as The Urgent Run events are fun and engaging, they’re also all about flushing out awareness about the current state and scale of the sanitation crisis.

What’s so urgent? It’s urgent because:

  • 1 in 3 people on this planet still don’t have access to a clean and safe toilet.
  • 1,000 children die each day due to poor sanitation.
  • And better sanitation plays a vital role in supporting better nutrition and improved health, especially for women and children.

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We’re calling on global citizens, to play their part by joining an Urgent Run near them, or hosting their own event.

And because we’d hate for you to miss out on all the excitement and urgency, you can also get involved by sharing on social media, talking shit, and find other ways to raise a stink on our World Toilet Day page.

Visit the Urgent Run website, follow us on twitter and like our Facebook page for more urgent updates.

Gotta go badly…it’s urgent!

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