Well, now you've heard. Today, November 19th, is the second annual World Toilet Day, it is recognized by the United Nations and the founding day of the World Toilet Organization was in 2001. Though it may sound like a comical issue, but it brings to light a serious global problem and a luxury many of us take for granted.
It is estimated that about 35% of the world, or 2.5 billion people, do not have access to toilets according to the World Toilet Organization 2013 Annual Report. According to the United Nations 14%, or 1 billion people, regularly defecate in the open air (no latrine, no privacy).
Where are those not using toilets living? Takepart published an infographic on this issue in April 2014 that describes the 16 countries where the most people lack proper sanitation, including but not limited to those who defecate in the open air:
India, 818 million people or 65% of the population.
China, 607 million people or 44% of the population.
Indonesia, 109 million people or 43% of the population.
Nigeria, 103 million people or 57% of the population.
Pakistan, 98 million people or 52% of the population.
Bangladesh, 75 million people or 48% of the population.
Ethiopia, 71 million people or 80% of the population.
Congo, 50 million people or 72% of the population.
Brazil, 39 million people or 19% of the population.
Tanzania, 32 million people or 68% of the population.
Kenya, 27 million people or 64% of the population.
Sudan, 27 million people or 73% of the population.
Philippines, 22 million people or 22% of the population.
Vietnam, 22 million people, or 24% of the population.
Ghana, 20 million people or 74% of the population.
Nepal, 20 million people or 71% of the population.
Did you know?
More people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet. Of the world’s seven billion people, six billion have mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines – meaning that 2.5 billion people, mostly in rural areas, do not have proper sanitation.
World Toilet Day aims to promote public awareness of the need for adequate toilets to improve people’s health and save lives.
How about: protection of your personal health and increased personal safety.