Blue public toilet door

Four Vital Reasons To Put World Toilet Day In Your Diary

World Toilet Day is on 19 November. At Domestos, we believe that a clean, safe toilet is a basic human right, not a privilege – yet more than two billion people go without [1], and this is a figure we’re determined to change. We’d love you to put it in your diary because this is the day to celebrate increasing the world’s access to cleaner, safer toilets and one day putting an end to open defecation.

Sanitation is seen by some as the world’s most important medical intervention, so it’s no surprise World Toilet Day is an official UN day. Here’s five reasons to remember World Toilet Day and celebrate it.

1. Toilets save lives

We’re in the midst of a global sanitation crisis and 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a clean and safe toilet [2]. That’s around a third of the world’s population. 892 million people defecate in the open [3] leading to the very quick spread of disease and illness. Every two minutes, a child dies from an illness linked to poor sanitation and unsafe water [4]. Access to a clean, safe toilet helps prevent children and adults from falling victim to potentially fatal illness spread through poor sanitation.

2. Sanitation helps kids stay in school

272 million school days are lost every year because schools lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The lack of a sanitary toilet in school means school children get exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Many students miss school days because of illness, or to avoid the embarrassment of publicly going to the toilet – especially girls with their period. This is why we created our Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Futures programme to help get kids get access to a clean toilet and to ensure long term, the toilet stays clean.

3. Help empower girls and women by making it easier to manage their period

Improved sanitation and handwashing facilities have a particularly positive effect on female students, who are disproportionately affected by lack of access to clean, private toilets and non-existent facilities to help them manage their period. The lack of adequate facilities means in many parts of the world means some female students feel too uncomfortable to attend school during their period, particularly as many kids can’t afford sanitary products – half of all school girls in Kenya for example [5]. That means these students must stay at home during periods and miss a quarter of their education. In India, female students have a 20% dropout rate.

Improved menstrual hygiene management, which includes the introduction of private, sanitary toilets, can change this. This combined with improved menstrual hygiene education and access to low-cost, sustainable sanitary products can help young women get an education.

4. Together We Are Unstoppable

One in three people in the world faces the threat of life-threatening diseases due to the lack of a toilet [6]. Domestos has partnered up with UNICEF to join the fight for everyone’s right to proper sanitation. With your support, we’ve helped 10 million people get access to a toilet and we’re on track to help 10 million more.

Join us on World Toilet Day because a clean and safe toilet is a right and not a privilege, and your support will help us in the fight against poor sanitation. You can do this by celebrating the wonderful work organisations around the world are doing to help solve the sanitation crisis, and by spreading awareness to help more people gain access to a clean, safe toilet.



[1] Progress on drinking water, sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines pg.10 “2.3 billion people still lacked even a basic sanitation service”

[2]  Progress on drinking water, sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines pg.10 “2.3 billion people still lacked even a basic sanitation service”

[3] Progress on drinking water, sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines pg. 10 “892 million people worldwide still practice open defecation”

[4] WHO: 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water. As a result, every year, 361,000 children under 5 years of age die due to diarrhoea. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.

[6] Progress on drinking water, sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines pg.10 “2.3 billion people still lacked even a basic sanitation service”