Every year people around the world celebrate World Toilet Day on November 19.
Thinking of spreading awareness about proper sanitation and hygiene practices especially due to factors concerning health issues and the safety of women, a Singaporean man Jack Sim founded an NGO named World Toilet Organisation in 2001.
Since then, many initiatives have been taken to spread messages of importance of toilets and sanitation as part of human life. Thus, the United Nations recognised the right to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right in 2010 and the United Nations has declared 19 November as World Toilet Day since 2013 to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.
This year the World Toilet Day 2023 is being marked under the theme “Accelerating Change for Safe Sanitation.”
Currently, the UN report indicates that worldwide, 4.2 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation” and around 673 million people practice open defecation. Thus, this day will encourage people to avoid open defecation practices and to think about the need to build more toilets in households and public places.
Because without proper and safe sanitation the global sanitation crisis has affected billions of people across the world and it has become the need of the hour to act to resolve the crisis.
As per the World Bank blogs, November 19 is the World Toilet Day highlighting the importance of toilets for health, hygiene, and safety. Open defecation poses a serious risk to public health as it can contaminate sources of drinking water.
This contamination can lead to the spread of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery. Also, people- particularly women and girls who practice open defecation-experience feelings of shame, loss of personal dignity, and increased safety risks.
It also highlighted that since 2000, the number of people who practice open defecation has reduced by 68 percent. However, around 420 million people, that is 5 percent of the global population, are still defecating in fields, forests, bodies of water or other open spaces, the blogs said.
World Toilet Day, celebrated on 19 November every year, is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and reach the 3.5 billion people still living without safely managed sanitation, the UN says.
Open defecation is most concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, there has been a marked shift in proportions: 67 percent of people practicing open defecation used to reside in South Asia (mainly India) and 17 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2000. But today, 44 percent are in South Asia and 47 percent are in Sub-Saharan Africa, said the UN news report.
Saniwise Technologies, a firm made up of a team of young entrepreneurs, designed an award-winning eco-toilet that also produces manure and chicken feed.
TOILET MUSEUM IN KOREA
After demolishing the house in which he lived for 30 years, Mr. Toilet, Sim Jae-deok, built this house in the shape of a toilet in order to celebrate the establishment of the World Toilet Association (WTA).
“Mr. Toilet House” is the popular name for the Toilet Culture Museum in Suwon, south of Seoul. It’s hard to know how much of this toilet museum is meant to be serious, and how much is meant to be funny.
According to Rachel’s Ruminations, the founder, Sim Jae-deok, who became known as Mr. Toilet, was clearly obsessed with all things toilet related. The story goes that he was actually born in an outdoor toilet and got teased about it as a child.
Construction began in March 2007 by architect Go Giung, and finished on November 11, 2007 Mr. Toilet grew up to become mayor of Suwon and founded his World Toilet Association in 2007.
He named it Haewoojae, which means “a house to relieve one’s concerns,” a term used in temples when referring to the restroom.
Haewoojae was credited as being the biggest toilet sculpture by the Korea Record Institute in 2007, and it got a lot of attention by domestic and foreign media outlets.
For the humans’ dignity and their healthy lives, let the world know the importance of toilets to public health and sanitation, as well as establish advanced toilet culture and contribute to humanity.
The World Toilet Association outlined, toilets are the key to sanitation and a sanctuary for human life and dignity.
All humans have a right to access adequate (Clean & Safe) toilet facilities with children, the disabled, and the elderly must be able to access and use toilets equally adding future toilets must be eco-friendly.
After Mr. Toilet –Sim Jae-deok passed away in 2009, his family donated the house to Suwon city in July 2009. The city decided to remodel the place to commemorate him, house to become a toilet museum making it into a Haewoojae cultural exhibit in accordance with Sim’s will.
According to toilet history, the world’s oldest toilet was discovered some 2,400-year-before in China. It is also said that squat toilets are common in many Asian countries, including China and India.
Tokyo, Japan has the world’s most spotless public restrooms and cleanest and most advanced cities anywhere.
According to Money Inc., the International Space Station Toilet is the most expensive toilet in the world at US $19 million. It was built by Russia for the space station in 2008, and it features the most extras for that special kind of bathroom activity.
World Toilet Day is raising awareness about the need for all human beings to have access to sanitation to speed up the necessary changes that will result in safe sanitation practices at the global level.
As per report, there are other toilet museums in New Delhi, India and Kyiv, Ukraine.