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World Toilet Day 2023: Addressing the Global Sanitation Crisis

World Toilet Day, observed annually on November 19th, is a crucial reminder of the dire need for improved sanitation worldwide. Despite significant progress, millions still lack access to basic sanitation, leading to devastating consequences, particularly for children's health. Let's delve into the profound impact of inadequate sanitation, its alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 6, and the urgent actions needed to address this critical issue.

World toilet day 2023

The theme for World Toilet Day 2023 is "Accelerating Change," aiming to inspire people to take personal action to help improve toilets and tackle the global sanitation crisis.

The hummingbird is the symbol of World Toilet Day 2023 as it represents the theme of "accelerating change by doing whatever you can." This symbol is drawn from an ancient tale about a hummingbird who does what she can to fight a great fire by carrying droplets of water. The story of the hummingbird highlights the significance of taking individual actions, no matter how small, to address significant challenges. It serves as a powerful metaphor for inspiring personal action to improve toilets and address the global sanitation crisis, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in achieving sustainable development goals. #belikeahummingbird

The Global Sanitation Crisis

A shocking 4.2 billion people, over half of the global population, live without access to safely managed sanitation. This means that they lack access to clean and safe toilet facilities, leading to open defecation, which poses significant health risks. The repercussions of inadequate sanitation are particularly severe for children, with approximately 297,000 children under five dying annually from diarrheal diseases caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

Aligning with SDG 6

Sustainable Development Goal 6, established by the United Nations, aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. However, the current trajectory indicates that the world is falling short of meeting this critical objective. The lack of access to safe sanitation perpetuates a cycle of poverty, affecting health, education, and overall well-being, hindering the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SGD6)

The Failing Promise of Safe Toilets and Water for All

Despite concerted efforts, progress towards achieving universal access to safe toilets and water has been slow. Factors such as rapid urbanization, population growth, and inadequate infrastructure pose significant challenges. Furthermore, marginalized communities, including those in rural areas and informal settlements, bear the brunt of this crisis, exacerbating inequalities and perpetuating social injustice.

Empowering Change and Making a Difference on World Toilet Day

Addressing the global sanitation crisis requires a multi-faceted approach involving governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and individuals. Advocacy for policy reforms and increased investment in sanitation infrastructure is crucial. Additionally, promoting hygiene education and behavioural change, especially in vulnerable communities, can significantly improve sanitation practices and reduce the prevalence of waterborne diseases.

Individuals can also contribute to this cause by supporting organizations dedicated to improving global sanitation, advocating for sustainable sanitation solutions, and raising awareness within their communities. Furthermore, embracing eco-friendly sanitation technologies, such as composting toilets and wastewater recycling systems, can contribute to sustainable and resilient sanitation systems. #acceleratingchange

world toilet day 2023

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Six Things You Can Do to Observe and Raise Awareness

Raise awareness on World Toilet Day about the need for all human beings to have access to proper sanitation.

  1. Wear blue (the colour representing clean water).

  2. Make an origami hummingbird and share it online.

  3. Take a toilet selfie and share it online using the hashtag #worldtoiletday

  4. Upload photos of yourself while squatting. The so-called “big squat” seeks to make more people aware of what open defecation is and the diseases that it can spread.

  5. Fix leaking water and waste pipes.

  6. Donate to organisations addressing the global sanitation problem. Even small donations can make a big difference.

world toilet day 2023

Show your support! Download and share to your social media.


On World Toilet Day 2023, it is imperative to recognize the urgency of addressing the global sanitation crisis. Inadequate sanitation continues to jeopardize the health and well-being of millions, particularly children, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and inequality. By aligning efforts with Sustainable Development Goal 6 and taking decisive action, we can work towards fulfilling the promise of safe toilets and water for all by 2030.

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Together, through collective advocacy, investment, and individual actions, we can pave the way for a future where access to safe sanitation is a fundamental human right, not a distant aspiration.

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