No it’s not April Fool’s Day as strange as it may sound, it’s World Toilet Day and yes there is such a thing. Although it sounds a little weird, World Toilet Day is celebrated worldwide and aims to spread awareness about poor sanitation, which is the leading cause of illness and death in the world. If that’s not a worthy cause, I don’t know what is!
World Toilet Day has been celebrated since 2001 and even has an official website. In the U.S., the thought of squatting behind a bush to do your business is repugnant (except while camping), but the reality is, many people in other countries face this daily and do so in horrible conditions.
Here are 5 World Toilet Day facts from their official site:
1. 2.6 billion people do not have access to indoor plumbing, and it’s literally killing them–1.8 million each year (mostly children).
2. 1 in 5 children die of diarrheal disease before their 5th birthday. Diarrheal diseases kill five times as many children in the developing world as HIV/AIDS. That comes out to 5,000 children dying every day.
3. The water and sanitation crisis has claimed more lives than all the wars of the 20th century, combined.
4. More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated into lakes, rivers and coastal areas. This is water which then flows into your lakes and kitchens.
5. One gram of feces can contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs. Safe disposal of children’s feces leads to a reduction of nearly 40% in childhood diarrhea.
So what can you do to help the cause of World Toilet Day? For starters, squat! Pop a squat for 60 seconds today to get a feel for what many people around the globe do on a daily basis just to go to the bathroom. You can also show your support by donating HERE.
So next time you find yourself in front of a toilet today, say a little thank you.