Maybe you’ve noticed I love talking about toilets. Spending most of my life in them, the time I am in them has become somewhat of a ritual. I appreciate their decorations, and more than anything I love a creative toilet sign. I am very grateful to have always had access to toilets, clean water, and education surrounding sanitation. Not all around the world are so lucky. In fact, over 2.4 billion people don’t have access to toilets or latrines. It is a human right to have access to sanitation and clean water, yet billions still don’t.
World Toilet Day is a United Nations sponsored day in recognition of the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all.” According to the U.N., “At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated.” This is due to lack of toilets, where contaminated wastewater is poured into water supplies and used for many things, including drinking and irrigation of crops. Over 1,000 children die daily due water and sanitation related diseases. Thus, there is a great necessity for World Toilet Day.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the U.N. reports that women and girls suffer even more. Lack of toilets means lack of privacy – and this puts them at risk for rape and abuse. I see a clear connection between the goals of International Women’s Day and World Toilet Day.
The United Nations encourages people to participate using the hashtag #wecantwait and to reflect on the relationship between clean water and nutrition.
To celebrate this day, I bring you photos of some of the best toilet signs I’ve seen during my current backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Have you seen any great toilet signs? I love to see them- so if you come across any no matter where you are in the world, tweet them at me! (@yasminesoyyo)
Enjoy the photos, spread the word on World Toilet Day, and say #wecantwait for proper sanitation for all!