By Rotary Service & Engagement Staff
Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life. Access to water and sanitation is so important that the United Nations made it one of its Sustainable Development Goals. However, according to the World Health Organization, two billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines, and, of these, 673 million still defecate in the open. This lack of essential facilities leads to water and soil contamination and, ultimately, the spread of disease.
19 November is World Toilet Day, and this year’s theme is about valuing toilets. So next time you need some relief, don’t overlook the benefits that safe, clean, and accessible toilets have on your life. You might just be inspired to help ensure access for others around the world.
What can you do to help?
- Organize a water, sanitation, or hygiene education project in your community. Start by conducting a community assessment to determine what support would best meet your community’s needs.
- Support an existing WASH project. View a list of projects seeking support on the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Rotary Action Group website.
- Learn about best practices for WASH projects through the Rotary’s partnership with USAID.
- Read the Guide to WASH in Schools to learn about creating healthier communities while improving school enrollment and attendance by bringing sanitation and hygiene services to schools
Who cares about toilets? Rotary members do! Read about projects taking place around the world:
- In India, Rotary members collaborated with a local organization to build a septic tank to provide sanitation facilities for the Dharavali Village. Read more.
- In the Philippines, the Rotary Club of San Fernando constructed a toilet block and handwashing facility at a local school. Read more.
- In Cambodia, Rotary members installed 12 toilets and water bores for families in the village of Kok Tnoth and taught the recipients how to maintain the facilities going forward. Read more.