World Toilet Day is a day to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis, a topic which unfortunately, is often neglected and shrouded in taboos. Just because of the lack of a basic toilet, 2.4 billion people today are struggling to stay well, keep their children alive and work their way to a better future.
In 2013, a joint initiative between Singapore’s government and World Toilet Organization led to Singapore’s first UN resolution, entitled “Sanitation for All”, calling for collective action to address the global sanitation crisis through the commemoration of World Toilet Day.
The theme for World Toilet Day 2016 is “Toilets and Jobs” and focuses on how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact on livelihoods. Toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy, as well as improving health and protecting people’s safety and dignity, particularly women’s and girls’. A lack of toilets at work and at home has severe impact upon businesses through problems in the workforce: poor health, absenteeism, attrition, reduced concentration, exhaustion, and decreased productivity. Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to 5% of GDP.
What happened on WTD:
• International Labor Organization has launched the Training Toolkit to facilitate the implementation of adequate sanitation in all work places.
• The Working Toilets Video supported by UN-Water.
• The maximum potential reach on social media for WTD this year (as of 24th Nov) was 976 million people, which is a 50% increase from the last year!
Each year, the UN calls on the global community to do more to address the sanitation crisis. We urge all citizens to ensure the access of adequate infrastructure and education around toilets in the workplace. We spend between 6-10 hours a day in our workplace, and it is in all our interest to ensure a safe and clean place for us to go! So do your part for World Toilet Day today.