World Toilet Day

All over the world, people are suffering from malnutrition and disease – even dying – due to unsanitary conditions exacerbated by a lack of proper toilet facilities.

When a community doesn’t have proper toilet facilities, the people living in that community are forced to defecate in the open.

In one instance, in a Mongolian community that World Vision partnered with, the toilet facilities in schools were so poor that children often had no choice but to relieve themselves behind school buildings.

In Mongolia, winter temperatures can plunge as low as -35°C, yet the school toilets were no more than outdoor pit latrines. Not only that, but there was no clean water for the kids to drink or wash their hands with.

As a result of these unsanitary conditions, infectious disease spread amongst the children, causing them to become diarrheal. When you’re diarrheal, you can’t absorb and use the nutrients from your food as effectively, resulting in malnutrition.

Fortunately, the community was able to build indoor toilet facilities and supply clean water. Now, the children in that community get to avoid the cold weather, use safe toilets and practice good hygiene.

But there are still billions of people in need of functional toilets and clean water.

159 million

children under five

were stunted in 2014 as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene.

50 percent

of all malnutrition cases

associated with diarrhea or intestinal worm infections as a direct result of inadequate water, sanitation and/or hygiene.

2.4 billion


lack access to basic sanitation, with 1 billion people still having to defecate in the open.

World Toilet Day is a day dedicated to spreading awareness of unequal access to clean toilets and sanitation...

...which threatens the health, dignity and even survival of vulnerable populations all over the world.

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared November 19 as World Toilet Day.

World Toilet Day is about the millions of children whose futures are at risk due to their being denied basic sanitation by circumstances outside of their control.

It’s about you, and what you can do TODAY to show that you’re not okay with the situation – and that you’re willing to do something quick (that won’t cost a cent) to fight against unnecessary suffering.

It’s about meeting Sustainable Development Goal number six by bringing basic sanitation and clean toilets to the 2.4 billion people who don’t have them today.

It’s about showing gratitude for the fact that we have clean water, and showing compassion for those that don’t get to share that luxury.

Here are a few ways you can get involved with World Toilet Day and show that you support vulnerable children.

This year is a particularly important year for World Toilet Day, and for development as a whole. This year, The UN announced their plan for the world by 2030 in the form of the Sustainable Development Goals, making initiatives such as this a great way for us to get off to a good start.

This World Toilet Day is all about the link between sanitation and nutrition. It’s about drawing the world’s attention to the importance of toilets when it comes to good health.

There are three ways to get involved: you can be a thinker, an artist or a sharer.

To find out what each of those mean (and how taking a selfie the next time you’re on the toilet could make a real difference), click the link below!