Today, November 19th, is the date that we mark World Toilet Day, on a global scale. Whether you’re at home, or you’re on yurt glamping holidays, we’re fortunate enough to have sanitised areas to relieve ourselves. Others are not so fortunate. This may be the first time that you’ve heard about the event, but fear not, we’re here to help you get an understanding of what it’s all about. While it might sound like a jovial celebration, it actually carries a serious message and you can help spread the message.
What’s it all about?
The World Toilet Organization was originally founded by Jack Sim, a businessman from Singapore, in 2001. This non-profit organisation established World Toilet Day to highlight the 2.4 billion people on this planet who sadly lack access to improved sanitation. This day is to bring awareness to the nearly 1 billion people who have to go to the loo in the open. It is about the millions of children who are having their futures compromised by poor sanitation and the nutrition problems related to this.
World Toilet Day is a day in which we can all help to take some action. It is a day to raise awareness about all people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation. It is a day to do something about it.
Sanitation is a global development priority. This is why in 2013 the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and relevant stakeholders.
Today, all over the world there are a whole variety of events taking place to make the day, from whacky toilets in China, to revealing the strangest things ever found in the toilet, and children making funny designs on toilets in schools in the UK. It all helps, and it’s great that more and more people are becoming aware of the issue. It’s something we, in the more privileged positions, take for granted, as going to the loo is just something we do, after all, right?
While this is an extremely serious matter, it’s important to share the message in a host of ways that will appeal to people, such as the examples we previously mentioned. But how about we give you a variety of cool, interesting and unusual facts about toilets to mark the day? Here are six for you:
- There are more people in the world who own a mobile phone than a private toilet.
- On average a single person pays a visit to the toilet 2,500 times a year. That’s about six to eight times per day. This equates to a person spending around three years of their life in the toilet!
- The first ever toilet paper to be made was created in 1391 AD. It was when Chinese emperors first decided that they felt the need to clean themselves once they had finished up using the facilities.
- The first ever film to feature a toilet flushing was “Psycho”, in 1960. Due to this particular scene, a flurry of complaints ensued regarding indecency against the movie.
- In 1992 a global study was conducted to find the worst public toilets in the world, as voted by the residents of that country. The UK came last!
- Here’s a list of some synonyms used across the world for the loo: Powder room, lavatory, water closet (WC), john, can, little girls’ room, little boys’ room, bathroom, dunny, bog, khazi, gents, garderobe, necessary, women’s room, restroom, potty, privy, the smallest room, outhouse, ladies, convenience, washroom, men’s room, cloakroom, latrine, place of easement, throne room, facilities, House of Honour (by the ancient Israelites) and the House of the Morning (by the ancient Egyptians).
If you would like donate, know more about how World Toilet Day has helped civilisations all over the world, or what it’s doing going forward, visit: Worldtoilet.org.