Here in the U.S., we’re lucky enough to have sanitary toilet systems in every home, but many places in other parts of the world aren’t so fortunate. In fact, nearly 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a clean and safe toilet. So to help raise awareness for this basic human right, the 13th annual World Toilet Day will be celebrated across the globe on Wednesday, November 19, 2014.
How it all started
For a long time, one of the worst places for sanitary toilet systems was Singapore, where toilets were simply non-existent in most homes. Many people were left to use open fields, rivers, and lakes to do their business, causing contaminated waterways and widespread illnesses. Something needed to be done to address the repulsive state of public toilets and sanitation in Singapore, so in 1998, a world-class entrepreneur named Jack Sim created the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS).
While RAS was successful at improving sanitation conditions in Singapore, much of the world still struggled with a lack of toilets. And since going to the bathroom is such a taboo subject in many parts of the world, many governments in Asia and Africa refused to address, let alone discuss the need for toilets. To help bring these discussions to the table in other parts of the world, Sim founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO) on November 19, 2001.
Since then, the WTO has raised the issue of sanitation by lobbying governments, shareholders, and the international community for better standards on sanitation conditions throughout the world. Every year, the WTO holds its annual World Toilet Summit, where delegates from across the globe gather to discuss the current state of sanitation and recommend new standards to improve toilet conditions.
Still not enough: the World Toilet College
To help continue shining the international spotlight on this issue, Sim created the World Toilet College (WTC) in 2005. With the support of private shareholders and government institutions alike, the WTC offers training to sanitation workers and also helps create the standards that ensure that the design and hygienic maintenance of restrooms are adequate. Comprehensive programs such as the Restroom Specialist Training Course and School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Course help give sanitation workers and community leaders the skills they need to provide clean and safe access to toilets for those in their regions.
World Toilet Day 2014
Every year, World Toilet Day has a theme, and this year’s theme is “Equality and Dignity.” Recently, many rural areas of India without toilets have left women to shamefully go out in the open. In doing so, they have not only had to sacrifice their dignity, but many have become the victims of sexual crimes while trying to relieve themselves. This year’s World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness for these heinous acts, as well as make sure that everyone has access to some type of private toilet.
Additionally, the mission behind this year’s World Toilet Day is also an effort to provide equality in access to sanitary facilities in all public places, including schools and the workplace. Many toilets are still inadequate for women, the elderly, and people with special needs, leaving these people unable to obtain jobs or attend classes.
To learn more about World Toilet Day, check out http://www.unwater.org/worldtoiletday/home/en/
For more articles and hygienic solutions for your bathroom, please visit http://brondell.com/blog/