What is World Toilet Day?

Last year, the UN officially created a day to recognise the importance of sanitation – World Toilet Day.

In the UK, having a day all about toilets may seem funny. But for millions of people around the world it's no laughing matter.

Kamini, 15, a member of the school WASH Brigade, in front of the girls institutional latrine.
"Before we got toilets we used to go in the fields," says Kamini, 15. "Sometimes I didn't come to school, especially when I had an upset tummy or my period. Now I can come every day. I can study more and achieve more." Photo credit: WaterAid/Poulomi Basu

It’s no joke

A shocking 2.5 billion people - one in three of the world’s population - still do not have access to a safe, private toilet.

Many have no choice but to face the indignity of going to the loo in the open, where they are exposed to disease and vulnerable to harassment and even attack.

It's a serious issue that can be hard to talk about – so we want to overcome our embarrassment and use comedy to get the nation talking about toilets!

How to get involved

Why not pee yourself laughing over toilets? This November, join WaterAid for the first ever World Toilet Day: It’s no joke! comedy festival and help raise awareness of this crucial issue.

From Sunday 16 November to World Toilet Day on Wednesday 19 November, we’ll be clogging up the capital with laughs, as renowned comedians perform in venues that used to be public loos.

Kicking up a stink

Fancy organising your own awareness-raising event or idea?

To get you started, here are a set of resources for you to download and use:

Posters

World Toilet Day logos

Web banners

What we do

Last year we reached 2.9 million people with toilets. That’s nearly 8,000 people gaining access to a safe, clean and private toilet every single day!

We work with our local partners to deliver low-cost, sustainable solutions. We also campaign tirelessly to demand that governments target their development efforts and spending on sanitation. It might not be sexy or nice to talk about, but we know that toilets save lives.

Even more than that, spending on sanitation has huge economic benefits – for every pound invested in sanitation and water, there's a return of around £4. Health is improved, fewer days are lost to sickness, and children, especially girls, stay on at school longer.