hero image learn

Valuing Toilets

Who cares about toilets? 3.6 billion people do. Because they don’t have one.

Today, nearly half the world’s population live without a 'safely managed sanitation service': a toilet, not shared with other households, that either treats or disposes of human waste on site, stores it safely to be emptied and treated off-site, or connects to a functioning sewer. 


We should all care more about toilets. If you have one, thank it. Life without a toilet is dirty, dangerous and undignified.

Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces. 

Every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene.  


Public health depends on toilets.

When some people in a community do not have safe toilets, everyone’s health is threatened. 

Poor sanitation contaminates drinking-water sources, rivers, beaches and food crops, spreading deadly diseases among the wider population.


Toilets also drive improvements in gender equality, education, economics and the environment.

Toilets protect women and girls’ dignity, safety and health, especially during menstruation and pregnancy.

For every $1 invested in basic sanitation up to $5 is returned in saved medical costs and increased productivity, and jobs are created along the entire service chain. 


There will be no sustainable future without toilets. Governments must work four times faster and ensure toilets for all by 2030.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ by 2030. 

We urgently need massive investment and innovation to quadruple progress all along the ‘sanitation chain’, from toilets to the transport, collection and treatment of human waste. The public and private sectors must work with unserved communities to create sustainable sanitation systems that work for them.

World Toilet day 2021 Facesheet

World Toilet day 2021 Factsheet

Want to inspire your friends and followers this World Toilet Day? Download the World Toilet day 2021 Factsheet for:

  • Q&A on World Toilet Day
  • Bitesize explanations of key issues
  • Facts and stories to share

Download the World Toilet day 2021 Factsheet in Arabic, Chinese, HindiEnglishFrench, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili and Spanish.

Image position

What is being done?

20 years ago, Jack Sim, a successful businessman based in Singapore, decided he would do something about the neglect of sanitation. In 2001, he founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO). Two decades later, sanitation is now a major issue on ...
World Bank Bangladesh
Safely reusing human waste saves water; reduces and captures greenhouse gas emissions; and can provide the agricultural sector with a reliable source of water, fertilizer, and nutrient-rich by-products. In this blog from the World Bank, experts highlight the value of ...
Public health depends on toilets. Unless everybody in a community has a safe toilet, everybody’s health is threatened. Toilets also enable quality health care. The presence of safe, clean, accessible and acceptable toilets in health facilities is a non-negotiable basic ...
Sanitation workers
A new report from WaterAid reveals that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many sanitation workers have been underpaid, unprotected and left to fend for themselves, risking their health and even their lives to provide an essential public service. Sanitation workers: The ...
World Toilet Day 2021
The 5th Human Rights Youth Challenge launches on World Toilet Day, 19 November. Young people across the world (aged between 19 and 24) are being asked to produce a video or any other digital content on “the human rights to ...