World Toilet Day

From Water Partners International:

Yes! You CAN change someone’s life with a toilet

It is no joke. Today we celebrate World Toilet Day and the incredible value of the can. Call it what you will – the pot, the loo, the throne, the latrine, the water closet, the bog – it’s one of the most important inventions in history.

Why recognize World Toilet Day? Because the majority of illness in the world is caused by fecal matter. Because 2.5 billion people, 42 percent of the world’s population, don’t have access to proper sanitation. Because 1.2 billion people have no toilet, no hole in the ground, no pit latrine – nothing. And because 1.8 million children die each year from diarrhea alone – 4,900 deaths each day.

What would you do without a toilet? In the Kibera slum in Nairobi, people defecate in plastic bags, which they throw on the roof of moving trains, in order to keep the waste out of their community. In Atabaha, Bangladesh, people relieve themselves in fields – the same fields that grow their food. In Dasra, Ethiopia, community members use a nearby river, which also serves as their source of water.

“This is not only about public health, it is also about dignity,” said Gary White, executive director of WaterPartners. “Can you imagine not having a safe place to go to the bathroom each day? World Toilet Day is an opportunity for us to call attention to this vast, solvable crisis, and invite us to act.”

By donating only $30 to WaterPartners, you can fund a toilet for someone in need in a developing country. Together, we CAN end this crisis.

Toilet Facts
One-third of all Americans flush the toilet while they are still sitting on it.

An average person visits the toilet 2,500 times a year, about 6-8 times a day. This adds up to three years of your life.

40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

The first toilet ever seen on television was on “Leave It To Beaver.”

Car steering wheels carry more than twice as many germs as a toilet seat.

Urine on the toilet seat - although disgusting, it is a nearly sterile liquid.

In Florida, a 7th grade student recently won a school science fair by proving there was more bacteria in ice machines at fast-food restaurants than in toilet bowl water in the United States.

Contrary to popular lore, Thomas Crapper didn’t invent the toilet. Seated toilets with drainage systems date back to 2500 B.C. The flush toilet was invented in 1596 by John Harrington.

See pictures taken by WaterPartners of toilets around the world.

About World Toilet Day

Lack of safe sanitation has been called a silent crisis, a scandal of human indignity, and the number one enemy of world health. This is why the international community recognizes World Toilet Day every Nov. 19, and the United Nations deemed 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. One of the Millennium Development Goal’s (MGD) set in 2002 is to halve the number of those without access to basic sanitation by 2015.