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November 19 is World Toilet Day

Today is World Toilet Day and while it may sound like a humorous occasion, it’s no joke. This is actually serious – deadly serious. November 19 is a day that has been set aside to recognize that not everyone has access to toilets or good sanitation, which in 2013 lead to 1,000 children dying each day from diarrheal diseases related to poor sanitation. Did you know that toilets and sanitation are considered a human right? In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized sanitation and water as a human right, essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights. Yet, one third of the world’s population still lacks access to adequate sanitation. An estimated 2.4 billion people worldwide (about one in three) lack access to a facility that at least separates human excrement from human contact. More than a billion relieve themselves on the ground or into open bodies of water. The amount of germs in human feces is staggering. In one gram of human waste, there are 1 million bacteria, 10 million viruses, 100 worm eggs, 1,000 parasite cysts and 50 infectious diseases. An estimated 1.8 billion people use drinking water that contains fecal matter. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid. Those who are interested in more information, including how you can support the work of the World Toilet Organization may visit worldtoilet.org. They are currently working on sanitation projects in Cambodia, India, and Mozambique. This short video, Where You Go Matters, offers further insight into this problem.