You have a role to play to ensure safe sanitation for all

Nov 22, 2023


Maksudur Rahman
Communications Officer, PATH

Symbol of World Toilet Day 2023. Photo: UN-Water. 

World Toilet Day might be over, but the UN Water logo of the dedicated hummingbird from the ancient story is still flapping its wings, reminding us of what we announced at the UN Water Conference in March 2023. At the conference, nations and stakeholders around the world made more than 800 commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets connected to water. Our target is to provide access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end the practice of open defecation by the year 2030. But how much did we achieve to ensure safe toilets for all?

At present, 57% of the world’s population uses safely managed sanitation services, and we have seven years left to make it one hundred percent. Still, billions live without safe toilets, and 419 million people are forced to defecate in the open. In this situation, a thousand children under the age of five are dying every day due to the spread of the disease. Based on these current numbers, we must work five times faster to meet the goal of providing safe toilets and water for all by 2030.

What we need now is speedy implementation of the pledge. To solve the sanitation and water crisis, there are simple ways for each person to take action. This list of commitments is a great place to start.

You can also help DefeatDD tell governments and stakeholders around the world to "not stall" to finance safe sanitation and protect children's health, as poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene are responsible for nearly half of diarrhea cases. Every year, nearly half a million children under the age of five die from diarrhea. Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are essential for children's health and so much more, from gender equity to climate resilience.

On World Toilet Day and every day, let’s each do our part, following the example of the hummingbird.