Celebrate World Toilet Day

In India, USAID is supporting efforts to provide community WASH solutions such as these public latrines, when household sanitation is not always feasible or sufficient. Photo credit: USAID/India

This Sunday, November 19, let’s take some time to reflect. For billions in the developing world proper sanitation can mean the difference between education and ignorance, health and illness, prosperity and poverty. But 2.5 billion people still don’t have access to a toilet, and 11 percent of the world’s population still defecates in the open.

The new U.S. Global Water Strategy, released this week, has set for the first time a standalone strategic objective for sanitation and hygiene. This focus, along with the continued support for funding of USAID’s water directive, will allow USAID to continue to strengthen its human resource capacity and attention to sanitation challenges in its priority countries.

To raise awareness about the importance of this advocacy day, the November issue of Global Waters magazine features several stories on toilet themes. USAID’s sanitation guru Jesse Shapiro discusses his passion for and career in sanitation in a World Toilet Day-themed Q&A. “Sanitation is one the most basic human needs, and there is no end to its impact on people’s daily lives in preventing disease and preserving dignity,” he explains.

Also read how USAID identified a gap in local sanitation options and designed, manufactured, marketed, and piloted a better latrine. The innovative, affordable, and easy-to-install “Digni-Loo” is currently being piloted in Ghanaian households thanks to the Water for Health Project.

This week’s Water Currents highlights resources, studies, and events related to World Toilet Day and this year’s theme—wastewater.  

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Join the ongoing conversation and share in the celebration of #WorldWaterDay @USAIDWater.