Singapore: Today is World Toilet Day (WTD). The day is celebrated across the world to raise global awareness on the struggle 2.6 billion people face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation. WTD brings to the forefront the health, emotional and psychological consequences the poor endure as a result of inadequate sanitation.
Globally, India has the largest number of people - more than 600 million - still defecating in the open. Less than half the population of the country use toilets - in rural areas, almost 70 per cent do not have access to toilets. And diarrhoea, due to the lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene, together with respiratory infections are the number one cause for child deaths in India.
Sanitation is vital for ensuring health, dignity and sustainable development. It can save hundreds of thousands of children who die every year.
The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO focuses on toilets instead of water, which receives more attention and resources under the common subject of sanitation.
Founded in 2001 with 15 members, it now has 151 member organizations in 53 countries working towards eliminating the toilet taboo and delivering sustainable sanitation. The World Toilet Summits and World Toilet Expo and Forum.
The World Toilet Organization started the World Toilet Summit in 2001 to provide a common platform for stakeholders to connect, share, learn and collaborate to meet the global target for sanitation. WTO leverages foreign governments and NGOs to host the World Toilet Summit in different cities each year.
Each summit is aimed at addressing issues of toilet and sanitation from technologies, development, funding, to design, maintenance, social entrepreneurship, capacity building, research and related topics, creating massive media coverage and momentum.