World Toilet Day

Did you know that 3.6 billion people do not have access to a safely managed sanitation service? World Toilet Day
19 November 2021 Get Inspired
World Toilet Day
Did you know that 3.6 billion people do not have access to a safely managed sanitation service?
 
This November, we turn our focus to World Toilet Day.  World Toilet Day takes place on 19 November 2021 and at Cobra, we join in the belief that everyone should care more about toilets. 
 
Many of us take for granted how priveledged we are to have access to clean running water, a safely managed sanitation service and quite simply, toilets.  “Life without a toilet is dirty, dangerous and undignified” – worldtoiletday.info
 
Without adequate and safe ablution facilities, hygiene is at risk and without hygiene, our health is at risk.  So many people living on the streets or in informal settlements do not have access to the basic hygiene and sanitation, and in turn - human rights to life, dignity, health, gender equality – as set out by the South African Human Rights Council.
 
Unfortunately there are still so many people living without these basic human rights, but World Toilet Day aims to drive a sustainable future.
 

What is World Toilet Day?

Annually, the UN-Water (the United Nations’ coordination mechanism on water and sanitation) launches a global campaign for World Toilet Day, driving awareness and involvement from governments, organisations and individuals in the importance of adequate toilets and sanitation.
 
This year, the 2021 World Toilet Day theme is ‘valuing toilets’. The UN-Water is this year, creating awareness around how toilets and sanitation are underfunded and neglected throughout many parts of the world – and how the effects of such mismanagement has knock on effects on health, the environment and economics, to name but a few of the consequences.
 

How Lixil Africa is Celebrating World Toilet Day

As we celebrate World Toilet Day this November, LIXIL Africa has been invited by Department of Water & Sanitaion(DWS) Western Cape to facilitate two x 1 day programmes in Oudtshoorn and Prins Albert.
 
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Aligned to the theme of “valuing toilets”, LIXIL Africa partnered with GD Fittings to encourage and remind our youth about the importance of clean and safe toilets; and awarding them as ‘Water Saving Ambassadors’ at the end of the programme.
 
The aim of the programme to promote water conservation and gender equality.
 
Another iniative in celebration of World Toilet Day was the hand over of a water saving cistern to Siphelele Mjezu. 
Siphelele Mjezu is an ECD principal who has also focused her time manufacturing her own non-toxic  play dough which she aims to sell to ECD schools. Siphelele  has attended and excelled at our ECD Educators 4 phase ‘Introduction to Basic Plumbing and Entrepreneur Ignition’.
 
  
 
This programme provided Siphelele with the necessary skills to repair her schools leaking taps and cisterns.
 
A competition was held at the end of the course where each attendee had to present a business plan. Siphelele won second prize, which was a water saving cistern, an ideal prize to celebrate World Toilet Day made possible owing to the partnership with GD Fittings and Lixil Africa.
 
 

The role of toilets in gender equality

Toilets and the access to these are vital in ensuring gender equality, both in the place of education and in general day to day life.  Without adequate access to toilets and sanitation facilities, school girls across the globe miss more school days than their male counterparts.
 
Poverty, stigma and lack of sanitation access leads to young girls putting their lives on hold and it is estimated that one in 10 girls in Africa will miss school when on their periods.  Building period safe spaces in schools should go hand in hand with providing adequate toilets and sanitation services to people across the globe.
 

The role of toilets in education

When children are at school, they should be able to focus on their school work and not when they will next be able to access a bathroom or toilet.  In many informal living or poverty stricken areas, schools take on the form of informal learning spaces – spaces without proper sanitation services or toilets and hygiene facilities.
 
These types of sanitation circumstances mean that children either don’t have access to toilets or hand washing facilities at all, or they have to walk far distances during what should be short bathroom breaks.  Having to walk long distances to a bathroom or toilet could mean time lost out on education and learning time – setting children further and further back in their education.
 
The role of toilets for conservation of the environment 
Human waste needs to be disposed of correctly, for the health and safety of human beings, but also for the future of the planet and wildlife, and our future generations.
 
Unlike the stools of horses for instance which benefit the environment, human waste has the opposite effect on the environment and needs to either be disposed of correctly, or converted into usable forms.
 
Mismanaged human waste in the environment or the oceans leads to illnesses and is a major contributor to the to the 115 deaths per hour from excreta-related diseases in Africa.
 

Economic impacts

Wastewater and treatment plants hold the possibility of generating revenue for countries and poor communities where local employment can be generated in these plants.
 
There is the possibility of converting fecal sludge into compost or fertilizer, and even into briquettes for fuel.  Imagine a world where human waste could be converted into generating electricity?  The possibility exists and has been achieved: “In 2017, Burkina Faso commissioned the first faecal sludge biogas plant in the country, generating electricity to feed into the national grid.”
 
The importance of toilets and sanitation during Covid-19
The importance of adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities has become even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to curb the spread of viruses and diseases, hand washing hygiene and correct sanitation facilities have proven effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
 
In general, improved sanitation has shown to decrease diarrheal disease by 25%.
 
2021 State of the World’s Hand Hygiene Report can be viewed here.
 

‘Make a Splash’ Partnership

Launched in 2018, the ‘Make a Splash!’ partnership aims to build viable sanitation and hygiene markets serving millions of people – by expanding the availability, affordability and quality of goods and services.
 
LIXIL, maker of pioneering water and housing products, and UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, today announced the expansion of the ‘Make a Splash!’ partnership.
 
The expansion of this partnership will reach children and families living in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria – three of the most populous countries – with access to safe, clean toilets and hygiene solutions.
 
The scale-up of the partnership builds its success of improving sanitation and hygiene over the past three years, reaching 2.9 million people in communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
 

How can you get involved?

Join on the conversation, help to drive awareness and be a part of the World Toilet Day campaign running up to 19 November 2021.  Share, reshare and join the conversation on social media by using #WorldToiletDay
 
In order to reach the Sustainable Development Goal 6 by 2030, the world needs more public and private investment, as well as governmental support as part of a human rights-based approach.
 
Public and private sectors need to come together in a combined effort to create sustainable sanitation systems and alleviate the strain on poor and impoverished communities to reduce consequences from the lack of sanitation facilities in these communities.
 
If the world invested just $1 per person per year, all households in the world’s 46 least developed countries could have handwashing facilities by 2030.