19 November 2018

South Africa: SA Celebrates World Toilet Day

The Department of Water and Sanitation will today celebrate World Toilet Day with the community of Ivory Park.

The department, in partnership with Life 4 U Foundation, will celebrate the World Toilet Day to shine the spotlight on the importance of decent toilets in communities.

"In 2013, United Nations designated 19 November as the day to celebrate World Toilet Day and has linked this with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, the aim of which is to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030," the department said.

The department will be celebrating this day in partnership with the Life 4 U Foundations and communities in Tembisa in Ekurhuleni to ensure that the SDG 6 is concretely realised.

According to the United Nations, the world is not on track to reach Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6): to ensure availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030.

"Today, 4.5 billion live without a safe toilet and 892 million people still practise open defecation.

"The impact of exposure to human faeces on this scale has a devastating impact upon public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world," the UN said on its site.

SDG 6 aims to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet and that no-one practises open defecation by 2030. Failure to achieve this goal risks the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Toilets save lives, because human waste spreads killer diseases. World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.

This year's campaign is based on the following narrative: "When nature calls, we need a toilet".

But, billions of people don't have one. This means human faeces, on a massive scale, are not being captured or treated - contaminating the water and soil that sustain human life.

"We are turning our environment into an open sewer. We must build toilets and sanitation systems that work in harmony with ecosystems," said the UN.

According to the UN, nature-based sanitation solutions (NBS) harness the power of ecosystems to help treat human waste before it returns to the environment.

Most NBS essentially involve the protection and management of vegetation, soils and/or wetlands, including rivers and lakes.

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