November 19th marks World Toilet Day 2017 which is an opportunity to raise awareness for the billions of people living without proper sanitation. This year’s theme is wastewater.
World Toilet Day 2017
We know a lot about toilets, especially how important they are, but unfortunately not everyone is as lucky as we are. World Toilet Day 2017 is about raising awareness for the global sanitation crisis. By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals aim to reach everyone with sanitation, and halve the proportion of untreated wastewater as well as increasing recycling and safe reuse.
The theme for World Toilet Day 2017 is wastewater, which has continued on from World Water Day earlier in the year. Billions of people around the world have little to no access to sanitation systems. This means that faeces get out into the environment and spreads disease. And it’s not just in poorer countries – even in wealthier areas, treatment of wastewater is still not always up to standard with waste going into rivers and coastlines which affect the sea life. It is extremely important to raise awareness of the sanitation issues around the world to improve welfare for billions of lives.
The Facts and Figures
Take a look at these facts and figures (reports from World Health Organisation [WHO] and United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF]) to show how important World Toilet Day 2017 is.
Around 60% of the population – 4.5 billion people – either have no toilet at home or one that doesn’t safely manage excreta.
862 million people worldwide still practise open defecation.
1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
Combined with safe water and good hygiene, improved sanitation could prevent around 842,000 deaths each year.