World Toilet Day is a day set aside annually to promote awareness for Sustainable Sanitation and hygiene in life of individuals and communities alike. It inspires people to practice safe hygiene practices by taking actions towards achieving the sustainable development goals 6. On the 19th of November every year; Government agencies in-charge of Water and Environment, Civil Society Groups, Non-governmental Organizations (NGO), WASH advocates and enthusiast raise awareness and campaign on a particular theme chosen by the UN for that year.

It’s an International Observance day set aside by the United Nations to tackle sanitation crisis. Was first commemorated on 19th November 2001 by World Toilet Organization (WTO); an NGO founded by a Singapore Philanthropist Jack Sim. WTO organized subsequent World Toilet Day events in collaboration with other NGOs until 19th November 2012 it became a United Nation official day.



The Message


Report has it that 3.5 Billion persons live without safely managed Sanitation while 419 million people worldwide practice open defecation. The United Nations through Sustainable Development Goal 6 is aimed to “Ensure availability and sustainability management of water and sanitation for all” and Target 6.2 majors on End Open Defecation and provide access to sanitation and Hygiene. These remain the message of the World Toilet Day. Government Agencies, NGOs, CSOs and WASH Advocates raise awareness to drive these message down to the remotest part of every country, reaching out to all communities. This message can never be overemphasized because these knowledge reduces killer diseases like diarrhea, Cholera, COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, uphold dignity, prevent exposing women and children to wild risk and increase productive hours of individuals.



Kinds of Event










All kinds of event are carried out on the World Toilet Day, all depends on the creative ability of the organizers. The aim of all events should be; raise awareness to ‘End Open Defecation and Promote Hygiene’. The following are list of events but not limited to these below:

  1. Radio/Television program
  2. Social Media Campaign
  3. Road Walk Campaigns.
  4. Project Launch
  5. Report Presentation
  6. Provision of Sanitary facilities/materials.
  7. Workshops/Seminars



Themes of World Toilet Days

The United Nations since 2012 have assigned themes to each year to form the basis for engagements and communication giving the day a unified message. It’s important to note; since 2016 the World Water Day and World Toilet Day each year share the same theme.

  • 2012 – I give a shit, do you?
  • 2013 – Tourism and Water
  • 2014 – Equality and Dignity
  • 2015 – Toilets and nutrition
  • 2016 – Toilets and jobs
  • 2017 – Wastewater
  • 2018 – Nature based solutions: “When Nature calls”.
  • 2019 – Leaving No One Behind
  • 2020 – Sustainable sanitation and Climate Change
  • 2021 – valuing Toilets
  • 2022 – Groundwater and sanitation- making the invisible visible.
  • 2023 – Accelerating Change


Motivating Statistics/Information

  • 3.5 Billion People lives without safe toilets.
  • 419 million people still practice open defecation.
  • Over 1000 children under five (5) years die every day from communicable diseases spread due to poor sanitation.
  • We have seven (7) years left to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, we are in the Decade of Action.



Actions you can take


  • Ensure you use a toilet and advocate for its usage and keeping it clean.
  • Organize for construction of toilets in areas where it’s lacking.
  • Save the Environment: join in cleaning of your immediate surrounding, clean up lakes, local rivers, wetlands and other water bodies within your community or area.
  • Break Taboos: talk about critical connections between Toilets, Water and Menstruation.
  • Fix leaking waste pipes in your household and community, inform sanitation workers for any blockage and empty full septic tanks.
  • Advocate and speak about sanitation crisis in events.

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