Published on: 18/11/2015
Today on 19 November it is World Toilet Day. People everywhere celebrate the importance of having a toilet, water and soap. It may sound funny, but toilets are a deadly serious business.
Everyone has a right to sanitation. And there is still a lot to do. With the adoption of the new Global Goals, we have a new chance for change. On the agenda: 1 in 3 people who do not have access to a safe, clean and private toilet; 1 in 7 people who have nowhere to go and still defecate in the open, and 1 in 9 people who do not have clean water. Let's get to work!
Behind every toilet there is a sanitation chain: from the construction of facilities to the safe disposal of human waste. And who should be responsible for these services and keeps them going? Government has to take on ownership. On World Toilet Day, IRC therefore calls on every government in the world to prioritise and invest in sanitation services.
Just imagine the impact it can have: having a toilet speeds up social and economic development. It takes away a major chance on the spread of diseases which mostly affect children under five. You have time to invest in other things than seeking a place to relieve yourself. It is time to invest in change.
Luckily some governments are already determined to change this! Read the story of how Ghana launches a sanitation challenge this month for big cities and municipalities to tackle their dire sanitation problem. In line with Modi's Clean India Campaign, this initiative will hopefully inspire a national effort to improve sanitation and eliminate open defecation
Naturally, sanitation and hygiene need to be integrated in people's lives. That's why some governments start investing in public awareness campaigns and monitor behaviour change.
Read the story of the Indonesian archipelago, for example, where local government works on change with volunteers that regularly visit villages to check the status of toilets and its use. The question: 'how are you and how is your loo?' is not a taboo. It is a life-saver.
Politicians that prioritise and invest in sanitation services - that is what IRC wants. This is our only chance for change. Support us!
IRC is an international think-and-do tank that works with governments, NGOs, businesses and people around the world to find long-term solutions to the global crisis in water, sanitation and hygiene services. At the heart of its mission is the aim to move from short-term interventions to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services. With over 45 years of experience, IRC runs programmes and projects in more than 25 countries and large-scale projects in seven focus countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is supported by a team of over 100 staff across the world.
Vera van der Grift T +31 70 30 44069 or +31 70 30 44062