4.2 billion people live without access to safely managed sanitation around the world. World Toilet Day, United Nations Observance is celebrated to raise awareness on the importance of toilet use and the challenges behind it. This year, it is also celebrated in order to take action in tackling the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and Sanitation for all by 2030.


  • 1 out of 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water,
  • 2 in 5 people do not have a basic hand-washing facilities with soap and water,
  • 673 million people still practice open defecation.
  • By 2050, up-to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year, creating unprecedented competition for water.
  • By 2050, the number of people at risk of floods will increase from its current level of 1.2 billion to 1.6 billion.


This year’s World Toilet Day focuses on sustainable sanitation and climate change. The rapid and worsening climate change has resulted in flood, drought and rising sea levels which are posing threats to the sanitation systems- from toilets to septic tanks to treatment plants. Every individuals must have sustainable sanitation, alongside clean water and hand-washing facilities, to help protect and maintain our health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as COVID-19, cholera and typhoid. Also, sustainable sanitation systems reuses waste to safely boost agriculture, and reduce and capture emissions for greener energy.


How is climate change and toilets related?

The effects of climate change threaten sanitation systems-from toilets to septic tanks to treatment plants. For instance, floodwater can damage toilets and spread human waste into water supplies, food crops and people’s homes. These incidents, which are becoming more frequent as climate change worsens, cause public health emergencies and degrade the environment.

How do toilets protect our health?

4.2 billion people live without access to safely managed situation rather use unreliable, inadequate toilets or practice open defecation. Untreated human waste gets out into the environment and spreads deadly and chronic diseases. Sustainable sanitation systems, combined with the facilities and knowledge to practice good hygiene, are a strong defense against COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks.

How can toilets help fight climate change?

Globally. 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Wastewater and sludge from toilets contain valuable water, nutrients and energy. Sustainable sanitation systems also make productive use of waste to safely boost agriculture and reduce and capture emissions for greener energy.

What does a sustainable sanitation system look like?

Sustainable sanitation begins with a toilet that effectively captures human waste in a safe, accessible and dignified setting. The waste then gets stored in a tank, which can be emptied later by a collection service, or transported away by pipework. The next stage is treatment and safe disposal. Safe reuse of human waste helps save water, reduces and captures greenhouse gas emissions for energy production, and can provide agriculture with a reliable source of water and nutrients.

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