Presenting DefeatDD’s 2014 toilet calendar: Our contest winners celebrate a humble hero

Nov 18, 2013



Today, November 19, is World Toilet Day. But unless you only plan on using the toilet once a year, we think it makes sense to celebrate this unsung hero every day.


That's why today, without further a-doo, we launch our long-awaited 2014 calendar! “Oh, the places we go: Public health's humble hero” will help you celebrate the toilet every day of the year. Print it out, hang it proudly in your cube (or bathroom), and share with friends!

We couldn't have done it without the photographers who helped us cause a commode-tion by submitting their photos through social media. Check out all the amazing contest entries on our “Places We Go” Pinterest Board.

Though we loved each contribution, in the end, we could only feature a handful of photos in the calendar. What inspired the winners to celebrate the toilet in the first place? Let's hear from some of the photographers themselves.

I was inspired to take this photo purely by the fact that someone had taken the care to create such a peaceful, natural & colourful environment in a basic public toilet at a small petrol filling station in the middle of nowhere in the UK. I am pleased that my picture will rub shoulders with other images so diverse as those from far reaching places throughout the world. I am also proud & excited to be part of a wonderful organization bringing sanitation awareness of a global concern to the rest of the world.

-          David Ditchfield


After hiking for several hours up a treacherous, rocky trail, with no light but moonlight to guide us, my friends and I arrived at the top of Mount Sinai.  We huddled together in the darkness, shivering against the freezing wind, waiting for the sunrise.  Slowly, but surely, the sun came up.  It was a mediocre display at best.  Still, being atop a mountain and surrounded by ancient history felt pretty damn cool.  But nothing could compare to the moment when light flooded over everything and there, perched so precariously, perfectly, was a loo!

When you spend your days working to increase sanitation access, and you've spent many a day "in the field" without it, you gain a true appreciation for the glorious, glorious toilet.  You learn that it provides dignity to a family, privacy to the vulnerable, all the while protecting health, and the environment as well.  It's the shit, really.

What's better than a pretty picture of a toilet?  One that's shaped like a toilet seat and you can hang on your wall. Your bathroom wall, of course.

-          Genevieve Kelly, PSI


I am an advocate of global sanitation because I have lived through the difficulties of lacking proper sanitation services, and seeing the effects of poor sanitation to community and in the overall countries' economic development.

The idea behind the pictures with zebra in the back ground occurred as we were on a road trip and came across some wildlife. We thought, “What happens to all the tourists who visit our countries' wildlife, and especially when they have to answer the call of nature?” Sadly, in those cases open defecation is the solution, or some quickly dug-up hole in the ground. A real solution is needed in addressing this issue to avoid cross-contamination of the species, and that's why we feel the Banza toilet addresses it very well.

We are very excited as an organization (Banza Ltd) to be featured in this calendar, as we are working towards addressing the global issue of over 2.5 billion people without proper access to sanitation services. Our aim is to provide a new and better option of sanitation service through the Banza toilet.

-          Patrick Kiruki, Banza Ltd.


I take pictures of school toilets regularly; I like to think that I have the biggest collection of pictures of toilets in the world (or one of the biggest) since I have been taking pictures of them for over 15 years as part of my job as a school health expert currently with Save the Children and previously at the World Bank.  I visit schools to ensure to that school children have access to basic health such as health education and healthy environments.  It is quite depressing to see the facilities that children have to use; my picture from Mozambique shows an innovative and sustainable attempt at privacy but inside the straw walls, the lack of regular cleaning makes the use of the toilets hard to imagine. Even worse for a menstruating girl! I'm glad that the need for better sanitation is being highlighted through this calendar and that one of my pictures will be featured - I've been wanted to share my “toilet” collection with others for many years so this is a first step. 

-          Seung Lee, Save the Children


I took the photo during a camping trip with California Overland Jeep Excursions. I wanted to remember this quaint facility for its simplicity and the serenity I found, after a use or two!

I am excited to be chosen because all the photos were great. When the calendar arrives, I may throw a "potty"!

Many people are unaware of health issues that can often easily be eradicated by supporting organizations who work on justice issues. Intentions are good; actions are better!

-          Lisa White