World Toilet Day around the globe

Date: 14th November 2014

Belgium, Brussels
The European Toilet Declaration was proclaimed at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by Unilever and WaterAid. The declaration focuses attention on positioning WASH prominently in the Post-2015 agenda. WSSCC’s Amanda Marlin attended a debate hosted by Catherine Bearder MEP on how progress on WASH is fundamental for advancing on other key development areas such as nutrition, food security, women empowerment and economic development and how an ambitious EU position on WASH can make progress possible. Read the declaration.

India, Jharkhand

Visibility of India’s ODF campaign has gone from strength to strength with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government setting itself the challenge to become open-defecation free by 2019. A recent WSSCC mission to India by Executive Director Chris Williams and a team of sanitation and equity experts helped to make the GSF more visible to key stakeholders including local and State government. Political will is vital to implement the national Swatch Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) which requires the building of 111 million toilets.

India, Chennai
At the India Toilet Summit held in Chennai, held on World Toilet Day, stakeholders including policy makers and researchers agreed that building toilets is not the only solution to end open defecation, rather it is necessary to change mindsets. Sixty percent of India’s population resorts to open defecation. WSSCC ‘s National Coordinator Vinod Mishra told those attending the summit there is an estimated 6.4% loss of GDP due to health expenses that arise due to lack of toilets contributing to poverty and malnourishment.

Madagascar, Miarinarivo

In Madagascar the Ministry of Water and the members of Diorano WASH coalition celebrated World Toilet Day in rural Miarinarivo. The three day event focused on sanitation in villages where open defecation is still practiced and field visits to open-defecation free villages. Alongside the awareness-raising of sanitation and hygiene issues, the theme highlighted was: “Malagasy people don’t deserve to eat shit any longer”.

The Minister of Water encouraged the inhabitants of named Ankafotra, an ODF village, to keep their village clean even beyond this celebration. Finally, the National Coordinator of Diorano WASH officially launched the End Open Defecation Campaign and convinced everyone to break the silence surrounding open defecation and sanitation.

MalawiIn Malawi, President Peter Mutharika and First Lady Gertrude Mutharika recently met with GSF Programme Director David Shimkus and discussed the compatibility of the open-defecation free aims of WSSCC’s programme with the Beautify Malawi trust founded by the first lady to create a cleaner and healthier Malawi.

Nigeria, Obanliku
obanliku_school-lr-1024x768The GSF-supported Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) programme is empowering 2 million people in over 1,000 communities in Cross River and Benue States to end open defecation. For World Toilet Day RUSHPIN highlighted the story of students at Higigung-Bayanu Government Primary School who used to defecate in the bush because their school’s toilet was locked. The RUSHPIN team met with community leaders to discuss problems associated with open defecation. Now, not only do the students have their own toilet and handwashing station, the entire community has been open-defecation-free for two months.

Somaliland, Somalia
A public ceremony was organized by the WSSCC member WASH activists in Somalia Somaliland, which was supported by local government Hargeisa Moyar Abdirahman Mohamoud Aided Soltelco and conducted at the IDP Hargeisa Mohamed Moge Digale. The event objective was to raise awareness on the importance of the proper use of the toilets / latrines in the prevention of faecal-oral diseases that mostly affect young children. The ceremony was considered a success! Posters with the WTD thematic message were widely distributed. This was the biggest event WSSCC WASH Activists in Somalia, Somaliland hosted in 2014.

South Africa, Cape Town
rockaya_10_alecsandra_raluca_dragoi_original WSSCC announced a new partnership with Swedish global hygiene company SCA, sponsors of the all-female team in the Volvo Ocean Race. WSSCC staff met up with the yachtswomen during the first stop in the round-the world competition in Cape Town. Together they convened a menstrual hygiene workshop with girls and women from the townships of Khayelitsha and Gugulethu led by local NGO the Volunteer Center.
Read the blog about Team SCA, no ordinary women.

Sweden, Stockholm
WSSCC’s Archana Patkar presented at a seminar for improved lives of women and children organized by SIDA, the Swedish Development Agency and WaterAid in Stockholm. Watch the event.
• Archana Patkar, WSSCC: Celebrating women and girls and Menstruation, the Red Thread movement
• Robert Chambers, academic and development practitioner: From blind spots to core concerns
• Jenny Fredby, WaterAid Sweden: Sanitation & Hygiene – Foundations for women’s and children’s health and rights

Tanzania, Dodoma
group_photo_with_guest_of_honourAs part of Sanitation Week and World Toilet day commemorations, the GSF-supported UMATA Program organized a one-day dialogue on Menstrual Hygiene Management. The dialogue was attended by key stakeholders from SNV, WaterAid, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training; and Local Government Authorities working in the education sector; teachers and students from primary and secondary schools; health officers; the private sector, represented by the Managing Director of Kays Hygiene Products Ltd – who called for the use of user-friendly low cost pads; and media houses Channel Ten and Radio Tumanini.

The chief guest of the event was Member of Parliament the Hon. Anne Kilango Malecela named as the ambassador for hygiene and sanitation.

Togo, Lome
togo_wtd_dscf5550Togo celebrated World Toilet Day using the theme ‘I use my toilet and I no longer eat my poo’ in concert with the Media Alliance for water and sanitation (AMEA) and in partnership with the Basic Sanitation Collaborative Council (CCABT).

A journalist training of more than a dozen journalists focused on the role of media in ending open defecation in Togo. Health expert Mr Espoir Datchidi said “In Togo more than 60% of the population is without adequate sanitation, according to figures from 2010. This situation encourages open defecation and several diseases especially cholera.”

United States, New York
A giant inflatable toilet outside United Nations headquarters made world headlines.

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